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Grants:IEG/Color blindness content checker

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
statusnot selected
Color blindness content checker
summaryMake Wikipedia chart and diagrams color blind accessible (T59806)
targetWikimedia Commons
strategic priorityimproving quality
amount15,000 USD
this project needs...
created on04:52, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
2015 round 2
A fruit stand with normal color vision and simulated red-green colorblindness

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


About 5-8% of men and 0.5% of women are born red-green colorblind. Charts and diagrams that use certain colors are unreadable by the colorblind and problematic for printing. Wikimedia Foundation intends its projects to be accessible to the greatest number of people as witnessed by the non discrimination policy.

In 2013, a user changed "the colors to make it less confusing" and making it worse for those with red-green colorblindness. For example, Brazil and Venezuela to the north look identical to protanopia colorblind despite the significant age difference.

Despite the SVG version superseding it in 2011, it continues to be Google's top image result for Age of Consent.

Prevalence of color blindness
Males Females
Dichromacy 2.4% 0.03%
  Protanopia (red deficient: L cone absent) 1.3% 0.02%
  Deuteranopia (green deficient: M cone absent) 1.2% 0.01%
  Tritanopia (blue deficient: S cone absent) 0.001% 0.03%
Anomalous Trichromacy 6.3% 0.37%
  Protanomaly (red deficient: L cone defect) 1.3% 0.02%
  Deuteranomaly (green deficient: M cone defect) 5.0% 0.35%
  Tritanomaly (blue deficient: S cone defect) 0.0001% 0.0001%

What is your solution?


To create an automated program that will select maps, graphs, and diagrams from Wikimedia projects and flag that have large components of color confusion. Then to present the results to an operator for contextual verification. And finally to categorize images in Category:Images with problems for colour blind people and optionally notify the uploader. Additionally provide resources to helper editors in appropriately recoloring their works.

Official MTA color scheme uses colors where the Red (2, 3) and Green (4, 5) lines are indistinguishable to red-green color blind readers just as the real signs are.

Project goals


To make images from Wikimedia Commons accessible to colorblind readers. With the side benefit of improving gray scale print outs.

Project plan



  • Research: Colorblindness, color models, and color perception

Write a program that analyses the dominate colors in an image. The program will use the databases from Wikimedias so that the program determines from the histogram to create the dominate colors in the image. The program will select from those databases, information which indicates conflicting for colorblind uses.

The information from the histogram will be used to determine from the Wikimedia Foundation databases if there is a conflict for color blind users.

  • Increase documentation of colorblind issues
  • Tool to (correct) simulate the different types of colorblindness
  • Automated tool to identify images that pose a problem for colorblindness
  • System to notify users that they've uploaded an image with color issues



Est budget: US$15,000

  • Research the academic databases over colorblindness
  • Write a program following research
  • Write image scanner program
  • User tester
  • Observation program
  • Programmer (paid, likely myself)
  • Writer (paid)
  • Volunteers (unpaid) to check the final output

Community engagement


We intend to incorporate game mechanics and design the experience to be enjoyable. We will promote the tool within different community and suggest it as an easy way of introducing new editors.



The project will be self-sustaining when completed.

Measures of success

  • Increase is documentation
Purple can appear indistinguishable from blue deutanomaly

Future reading

Simulators and Daltonize
Image Gamma

Maps should use textured pattern for better viewing by color deficient and B/W print out


Get involved



  • Programmer Tool developers with 5+ years experience building interactive tools which receive 400+ daily edits. Additionally has experience with Wikimedia backend infrastructure. Already has prototyped parts of the project. I've found many errors in the existing tools and documentation. w:User:Dispenser
  • Volunteer 12:58, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I'm a python enthusiast and developer. This project seems interesting. I'd be willing to work as a programmer. Looking forward to hear from you. TwistingTwists (talk) 08:16, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Community notification


Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?



Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • A simple, cost-effective way to make the Wikimedia projects more accessible. harej (talk) 02:52, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
  • fgjrtr 12:58, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes please, particularly any work towards laying out clear recommendations (in the form of color palettes) that editors can then use. (See also phab:T110727)
(One great existing resource, is http://colorbrewer2.org/, which includes a "colorblind safe" checkbox - I'd suggest contacting them, to see if their research and palettes are openly licenced. The main limitation of this resource, is that it doesn't mesh well with color-contrast WCAG guidelines, i.e. for when text is on top of a colored background; We really need a separate palette, for that.) Quiddity (talk) 22:02, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Seems interesting and useful--Alexmar983 (talk) 00:38, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

See also