The Utility of Functional Colour Cues: Seniors' Views
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A before-after study was conducted with 30 women, mean age 76.8 years, to provide information on their perception of functional colour cueing. Volunteers were randomly assigned to one of three groups and stratified for visual acuity. A free-standing transfer pole was installed in each apartment and its grip alternatively colour cued for Groups 1 and 2 for one month. The experimental groups' views on colour were sampled on entry and exit and on exit only for the control group. Participants recorded their views on the experience throughout the study. Follow-up interviews probed issues that emerged during the investigation. Data support the premise that colour cues improve the legibility of the environment and people's ability to target objects quickly, especially when they have poor vision. However, while seniors recognized these benefits, most disagreed that they needed this strategy. Preference for cue colour varied widely and was associated with cultural group and recent experience with colour cueing. Future investigations should focus on the role of colour in learning for all seniors and on the polar differences it appears to have on fostering function for those with low vision.
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