Seeing Life in Color, A Local Man Sees Color for the First Time

It's a birthday present that's been kept inside the box for weeks... Executive director at Broadway Utica Derek Clark says he's been nervous to put on the pair of sunglasses but today he's ready to see life in color for the first time in 50 years. 

"Lets see if this changes...wow, there's definitely a difference."

Derek Clark has been colorblind all his life.
 
"I see shades that I think are blue or purple, and I see shades of the yellow. I'm assuming is the sun," said Clark.

A teacher was concerned when as a child he drew the grass pink.
 
"As a little kid I felt like something was wrong with me because all the sudden i couldn't participate."

But that didn't stop Clark from pursuing his dream in the fashion industry.

"I found ways around it and I memorized color codes."

Clark says he never thought the technology would be possible to see colors.
 
"I mean it seemed like it was likely i just never thought it'd be in my life time."

But a company called Enchroma developed glasses that allow people who are colorblind to see colors through an optimal filter targeting specific photo pigments.

"I used to watch the videos online  and you see people who've gotten these glasses for the first time and their emotional responses," said Clark's partner Jason Johnson  who bought the glasses as a birthday present hoping they'd make a difference.

"I don't know what to expect I don't know set expectations that he's gonna see all these vibrant colors that you or i probably take for granted," said Johnson.

Colors we see everyday driving through traffic...

"I can see the green stop light! That is awesome! I've never seen that before!"

Clark says he didn't allow his color blindness to get in the way of his dreams and it's a message he wants to spread.

"When I work with the you know, especially the young kids here in you know the Q-Center or I see them on the streets, I always tell them they can be anything they want to be and it's true...You can if you put your mind to it."

Clark says his first order of business with the glasses is exploring his closet and being able to mix and match his favorite ties.


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