Oliver Sacks on the Island of the Colour Blind


Oliver Sacks, who died last year, left a legacy in his writings on neurology and other subjects. He incorporated anthropological research methods which took him to a small island near Guam to study a group of individuals where 1 of 10 were color blind and 3 of 10 were carriers of color blindness. In his work, Doctor Sacks addressed the brain’s resilience and adaptive powers to cope with issues ranging from illness to disability. On the Island of the Colour Blind, he finds himself in the minority among the “achromatopes” who have adapted to their lack of color vision and provide him with salient insights into the limits of own color sightedness. As a scientist and researcher, Doctor Sacks helps us understand how disability can stigmatize and isolate people. This is an important message he shares in this short video from blank on blank about his trip to the Island of the Colour Blind.

Click here to enjoy the video.

And, be sure to listen to the few minutes of audio which continues when the video ends.

Key words: Oliver Sacks, color blindness, Island of the Colour Blind, resilience, adaptation, disability can stigmatize

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