This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, April 20, 1994

April 20, 1994 - color therapy

Several weeks ago, the News Press did an article on Jetta Feil, a woman who does "color vision therapy." In brief, Ms. Feil, a certified color vision therapist for Spectro-Optics (841-3103), has found that simply by using certain tinted acetate overlays, she can help people read more comfortably.

Some people, it seems, have significant difficulties with the printed page. The print "floats." In some cases, it even flickers or shakes on the page. As you might imagine, this makes it very difficult to stay focused, or to read for a long period. For some people too, the problem is made much worse by certain kinds of lighting, especially fluorescent lighting.

I found all this interesting, but here's something that's more interesting. The Douglas Public Library District only has three administrative offices; of the three, two of them house people for whom color vision therapy has already demonstrated its advantages.

One one side of me is our Personnel Manager. He says this problem of "floating print" has been with him all his life. He thought it floated for everybody. Amazingly, he managed to persevere long enough to get his doctorate -- which takes a lot of reading. Then, as an adult, he discovered that if he just set a piece of bluish acetate over a page, everything steadied down. His daughter has the same problem, but for her, the bluish acetate doesn't help. A greenish-colored sheet does.

On the other side of my office is my Administrative Assistant. Her son has been diagnosed as having some learning disabilities, especially in the area of reading. Recently he was tested for color vision problems, and found that one of the overlays suddenly made it much easier for him to read. His mom is getting him a pair of glasses with the tint built-in.

How common is this problem? It's hard to say. Ms. Feil says that as many as 10-15% of the population has some color vision problem. Fortunately, the problem is easily and quickly tested for, and it isn't all that expensive to correct.

If you'd like to find out more about this sometimes startlingly effective therapy, you are invited to attend either of two free information clinics, both sponsored by the Douglas Public Library District.

Jetta Feil, who has 17 years of teaching experience and a Master's degree in Education, will be available at the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock from 2-5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, and at the Oakes Mill Library (in the Lone Tree subdivision, on the corner of Lone Tree Parkway and Yosemite) from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27. She will provide more information on color vision therapy, and, time permitting, provide some preliminary screening.

Children should be at least 6 years old -- old enough to accurately report differences in what they see on the page. Incidentally, many children begin to have reading difficulties in the 3rd grade -- just about the time the proportion of text to pictures starts to increase. At the same time, print tends to get smaller and closer together.

The library is happy to sponsor this clinic. After all, anything we can do to help people read more easily is a good idea. If you think you or your children might benefit from color vision therapy, we encourage you to stop by.