Colorblind woman experiences fall colors for the first time, compares the colorful scene to heaven

November 7, 2017 10:20 am Last Updated: November 7, 2017 3:41 pm

“When I look over to this mountain behind me, I just see black,” Patty Jo McKee told WFMY.

For those who are colorblind witnessing the beauty of the brilliant red, orange, and yellow leaves on an autumn day is often only a fantasy; however, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development wants to change that.

At several scenic overlooks throughout the state, the department of tourist development installed special viewfinders that eliminates the red–green color deficiency.

For those who have a red–green color deficiency they are unable to see the true colors of leaves on an autumn day.

The viewfinders, which were only recently installed, have already received a number of visitors who can’t believe what they are able to see.

One of those visitors was Patty Jo McKee, who has been colorblind for the majority of her life.

Although the colors that cover the mountaintops are bright, all she sees is black, red, and white. Now, the viewfinders allow her to see something she hasn’t been able to see for as long as she can remember.

Her reaction to using the viewfinders for the first time was recorded, and it was precious.

The special viewfinders give users a unique experience.

As McKee looked through the viewfinders tears came to her eyes.

“I feel like I’m in heaven,” she said. “Oh my goodness, down there, it must be heaven.”

As she looked across the mountaintops she was in awe.

“Is that what heaven’s going to be like, color?” she said.

The viewfinders allowed her to see colors she hadn’t seen before.

And that’s exactly the type of reaction Tennessee Department of Tourist Development hoped to create. In a press release, Commissioner Kevin Triplett said:

The reds, oranges and yellows in the fall and the incredible colors in the spring are a staple of what comes to mind when people think about Tennessee or visit here. But to realize, through red/green deficiencies and other forms of colorblindness, there potentially are more than 13 million people in our country alone who cannot fully appreciate the beauty our state has to offer, we wanted to do something about that. We wanted to provide opportunities for more people to see what those of us who can may take for granted.

You can find the locations of the viewfinders here.