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Judge Orders Treasury To Make Paper Money Accessible To Blind Americans
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 29, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC--In a disability discrimination case that could affect virtually every American, a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Government must find a way to design its paper currency so that blind people can independently tell the difference between a one-dollar bill, a five, ten or twenty, and so forth.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson said Tuesday that the U.S. Treasury Department has discriminated against blind Americans in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which guarantees equal access in government programs. Robertson explained that of 180 countries that issue paper currency, the United States is the only one that prints all bills the same size, color, and texture, regardless of the denomination.

He gave the department 10 days to begin work on making bills accessible.

The American Council of the Blind, which filed the suit four years ago, has proposed several options, including printing bills of different sizes, adding embossed dots or foil to the paper, or using raised ink.

"This is a major milestone for the blind and visually impaired of America," said Melanie Brunson, ACB's Executive Director, in a press statement. "The ability to handle a persons financial affairs independently, and in private, is an essential part of being a productive member of society."

Related:
Press release (American Council of the Blind)

READ ALSO
December 13, 2006: Feds Fight Accessible Currency Ruling

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