Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Carol A. Doll

Committee Member

Gail K. Dickinson

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh


Color vision deficiencies affect approximately eight percent of the male population (Birch & Chisholm, 2008; Cole, 2007; Jenny & Kelso, 2007; Neitz & Neitz, 2000), yet the condition is often overlooked in the educational setting despite the pervasiveness of color in the school (Suero et al., 2004). The purpose of this study was to explore how elementary school librarians provide instruction and prepare the library environment to meet the needs of students with color vision deficiencies.

This mixed methods study consisted of two components. The first component was a questionnaire administered to elementary school librarians throughout Virginia to gather data related to their knowledge of and attitudes toward students with color vision deficiencies. The second component of the study was a case study of eight elementary school librarians in one school division within Virginia. The case study participants were given the same questionnaire as the state group to assess their knowledge of and attitudes toward students with color vision deficiencies. Then they participated in observations, interviews, and a color vision deficiencies awareness training designed to inform school librarians about issues related to color vision deficiencies. The training was followed by a series of journal prompts through a blog and additional observations to gather information about changes in behaviors. After the training, a post-test was administered to the case study participants to gather data about changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

Findings indicate that elementary school librarians did not feel knowledgeable about color vision deficiencies but were interested in knowing more and expressed a desire to make changes based on participating in the questionnaire alone. The case study participants' increase in knowledge from pretest to post-test was statistically significant. While the change in attitude on the questionnaire was not found to be statistically significant for the case study group, there were noticeable changes in beliefs and desires to change behaviors as evidenced through the qualitative data. The changes in the case study lend support to the need for color vision deficiency awareness training for elementary school educators.


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