These New Viewfinders Allow the Colorblind to See the Smoky Mountains' Fall Beauty for the First Time
A stunning peek at fall foliage for those who have never gotten to appreciate its grandeur.
As the sun hits the changing leaves of your favorite neighborhood tree, many of us delight in the golden and burnt orange shades the leaves take on in their autumnal glory. On fall hikes, we soak up the shades of red, yellow, and orange that dominate the panoramic views from the summit. This time of year, we even get a hit of happiness from the crunchy yellow leaves raked aside in out supermarket's parking lot.
For the roughly 14 million Americans who are colorblind, this vivid scenery is left to their mind's eye. Now, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development hopes to change that with special viewfinders. While eyeglasses technology currently exists to help the colorblind see colors, the AP reports that state officials believe their viewfinders are the first time the innovation has been used in a viewfinder.
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By looking through the viewfinder, those with red-green color deficiencies can now see color, many for the first time. The viewfinders cost $2,000 each and are located at the Ober Gatlinburg amusement park in Gatlinburg, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area near Oneida, and at the Westbound Interstate 26 overlook in Erwin.
In a moving video posted on KHOU, watch Patty Jo McKee see color for the first time. A visibly emotional McKee gives viewers a glimpse of what this experience meant to her with four simple words: "I saw God today."
In another video, from Tennessee Tourism, below, watch several colorblind individuals try the scenic viewers.