Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Court rules US discriminates against blind with currency

A federal court ruled that the US discriminates against the blind since its paper currency is the same size, no matter what it's value.

The 2-to-1 decision, by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, held that the Treasury Department had failed to demonstrate that it would be too burdensome to make bills of different sizes or add features that could be read by touch to distinguish monetary value.

“A large majority of other currency systems have accommodated the visually impaired, and the secretary does not explain why U.S. currency should be any different,” Judge Judith W. Rogers wrote for herself and Judge Thomas B. Griffith, referring to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., the nominal defendant. via

UPDATE: For posts on Planet of the Blind related to this story, please click here
and here.


Courageous Grace said...

Funny...I have a blind friend, William, who can "read" the denomination of a US bill just fine. I've handed him money and he knows what it is because of the texture of the ink. When he knows what bill it is, he folds it in a certain way so he can quickly retrieve it from his wallet later.

Maybe his fingers are just super-sensitive...

Ruth said...

hi CG- I have a number of blind friends, and they need someone to identify the currency for them so they can fold it before they use it.

According to a post over at Planet of the Blind that I've put in my google reader bar, apparently the blind community is divided on this issue.

Thanks for your comment! Hope the baby is doing well :)

Courageous Grace said...

You're welcome, I love reading your blog!

I haven't posted in a while but George is doing pretty good...he had his second round of vaccines today and has been sleeping most of the day. Poor baby.