Color vision for network techs

Joel Maslak jmaslak at
Fri Aug 31 18:45:41 UTC 2012

On Aug 31, 2012, at 12:27 PM, JC Dill <jcdill.lists at> wrote:

> So if you DO decide to test for color vision, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities for handling any employee or applicant who fails the test.
> IANAL - if you have any questions be sure to get advice from an attorney - preferably one who specializes in employment law.

Agreed.  It's also a good idea to check with JAN if you're in the US, to see what accommodations they might suggest.  I'd also add that it's the decent thing to do - if someone is qualified for the job, except for not being able to do one small part of the job the way you would imagine it being done, the right response is to find solutions, not immediately dismiss the qualified applicant.

I had some involvement in the past with employees with vision disabilities.  Many are trivial to accommodate.

Tools I've personally seen used are the "Seekey" and colored pieces of plastic (overlays).  The overlays are very cheap, not sure how much a Seekey costs.  I'd also suggest asking the employee, since they have a vested interest in finding a solution.   These would also work for terminating twisted pair cables.

I've also seen an electronic pen-like device that was used by blind people, to determine if an LED was lit. We used this for a phone receptionist who needed to scan "busy" lights on a telephone while handling calls (I'd probably look at a softphone type solution today, but the phone system we used was definitely not softphone capable!).  I don't know if it can tell the difference between red or green, nor do I remember what the thing was called.

(also note that, depending on environment, "reasonable accommodation" might also mean "asking a coworker what color the light is")

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