[accessibleimage] Re: proposes solutions to us currency access problem

  • From: "Steven Landau" <sl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 09:29:28 -0400

sylvie, thanks very much for your excellent short summary of the issue of
access to currency in the US. I don't know much about the technical problems
what could result from even doing something so seemingly simple as adding
tactile markings to bills. I imagine that some machines, like the ones they
use to count money, could have a problem with any marking that changes the
thickness of the bills, especially if that mark occurs in the same place on
all bills.  I know from our work in manufacturing tactile pictures, that
when you have a large stack of tactile sheets that all have the same
markings, that the stack gets higher in the place where the marks occur.
This could cause jams, etc. Maybe the mark would have to happen in a random
place, so that a pile of money would stay more or less flat; I wonder what a
randomly-placed mark, however, would do to either make it easier or harder
to detect counterfeits....

On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 7:43 AM, Lisa Yayla <lisa.yayla@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>  Sylvia,
> The solutions you wrote about sound very good.
> I was thinking there might be also a transition stage - the time when old
> bills are still around before going over to accessible bills and
> that there might be a way to make old bills accessible before they are
> taken out of circulation.
> What if banks had embossing equipment so when ever an "old" bill comes in
> it is run through an embosser and a embossed mark
> is placed on it?
> Best,
> Lisa
> *accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx skrev 27. mai 2008 kl. 09:26 +0000:*
> This issue is being debated among disability advocates from the two main
> organizations of the blind, the American Council of the Blind and the
> National Federation of the Blind.
> I think it is very appropriate for tactile designers to also give it
> serious
> consideration.
> Those who haven't been keeping up with these debates should be aware that
> the majority of legally blind people in wealthy countries are older adults,
> and I very much doubt
> if most of them are members of any Blindness organization. Most teachers
> and
> counselors I know of who work with older people who have lost vision as
> adults are told again and again by the majority of these people that they
> would love to once again be able to quickly identify their money on their
> own, so as to maintain some degree of independence and dignity in stores,
> on
> public transit, in taxis, and in restaurants, etc. Credit-debit cards can't
> be used everywhere; for example, they can't be used on many public transit
> bus systems. and some older people don't feel comfortable using them
> anyway.
>  Most people with low vision, and all blind people, are unable to
> distinguish one denomination of American paper money from another. Blind
> people must ask sighted people for help in order to count and sort their
> bills. Some may be able to afford and feel comfortable with machines that
> can identify the denominations and speak the values out loud. But, many
> people, especially older people who have lost vision as adults,  cannot
> afford to buy such machines, or they feel uncomfortable using them, and
> these machines make many nervous in check-out lines, where they slow things
> down a bit.
> In the United States, visual impairment is the third most common chronic
> condition, after arthritis and heart disease, among the elderly.
> It is noteworthy that 17% of
> adults aged 65 through 74 and 26% of those aged 75 and older have some form
> of visual impairment (Lighthouse International, 2003).
> We should also keep in mind that the United States is constantly replacing
> worn-out currency.  Altering the size and design of denominations of bills
> above the one-dollar bill would cost something like 5 percent of what the
> government has spent on producing currency in the past decade.
> The Treasury spent a considerable amount of money redesigning our currency
> in 1996 and 2004. But, both times they basically ignored recommendations
> presented by a 1995 National Academy of Sciences report that recommended
> making changes that would facilitate identification of different
> denominations by touch.
> As a matter of fact, the United States had paper currency that varied in
> size before 1929. It began producing all denominations of bills in the
> same-size in 1929.  All other countries with paper currency vary the bills
> in size according to denomination or include other features that help  all
> people, sighted and nonsighted, in distinguishing between different
> denominations of bills. Some add embossed dots, some have raised ink or
> foil.
> In Europe, for example, the Euro varies in size: the greater the value of
> the bill, the greater the length. Each bill also has a raised number and
> foil perceptible to touch, which not only helps those people who are blind
> but is considered a security feature to prevent counterfeiting. In Japan,
> the denominations each have a different geometric watermark shape in the
> corner. Canadian bills have a different set of raised symbols. For example,
> the $5 note has one raised symbol; the $10 note has two symbols.
> Okay, tactile designers, let's work on some ideas for what the U.S. bills
> could have!
> Best regards,
> Sylvie
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Steven Landau" <sl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 4:51 PM
> Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: proposes solutions to us currency access
> problem
> yes, it will, indeed, be interesting to see this case go to the supreme
> court, if it comes to that.  You are right, that if they just add braille,
> or some other tactile marking to the existing paper money, that won't be
> robust enough to last very long. I know that currency these days has a lot
> of sophisticated anti-counterfeiting measures, such as watermarks, very
> tiny
> printing in many colors, and a special thread that is somehow embedded in
> the paper, and that you can't see unless you hold it up to a light source.
> I
> am wondering if that thread could be modified to add some form of
> electronic
> tagging that could be read through some low tech means. But I think it
> would
> be best if the user did not need to own and carry another dedicated device
> for reading bills.
> On Sun, May 25, 2008 at 7:11 PM, Robert Jaquiss <rjaquiss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
> >  Hello List:
> >
> >      It will certainly be interesting to see if the treasury appeals this
> > ruling to the Supreme Court. For those outside of the U. S., the Treasury
> > can appeal the currency ruling to the U. S. Supreme Court which is our
> > highest court. Because of the large cost of redesigning the currency and
> all
> > the handling equipment, some people have advocated that the Treasury
> simply
> > provide any blind person who wants one a talking currency identifier.
> These
> > are currently in the $250 range, but it is believed that if the
> government
> > bought a million of them that the price would drop. I have also heard
> that
> > embossed bills tend to flatten out erasing their markings. Perhaps a
> marking
> > could be applied to bills, but I wonder if currency counters and other
> > handling equipment would jam with the extra thick currency. One thing I
> am
> > certain of is that there will be much discussion of this topic on the
> > blindness related lists.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Robert Jaquiss
> >
> >
> --
> steven landau
> touch graphics, inc.
> 330 west 38 street suite 1204
> new york, ny 10018
> usa
> p. 800-884-2440
> f. 646-452-4311
> c. 646-515-3492
> Lisa Yayla
> Huseby Kompetansesenter
> Oslo Norway
> lisa.yayla@xxxxxxxxxx

steven landau
touch graphics, inc.
330 west 38 street suite 1204
new york, ny 10018
p. 800-884-2440
f. 646-452-4311
c. 646-515-3492

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