AFB Applauds the American Council of the Blind for Fighting to Make U.S. Currency Accessible to People with Vision Loss
Statement from Paul Schroeder, Vice President, Programs and Policy, American Foundation for the Blind
Washington, DC (November 29, 2006)—Yesterday a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Treasury Department is violating the law by not designing and issuing paper money that is accessible to people with vision loss. Though this is just the first step in what is expected to be a long legal battle, it is an important ruling for the 10 million blind and visually impaired people living in the United States.
We applaud the American Council of the Blind for championing this issue to ensure that all people can easily identify and use money without assistance. Most countries include features on their currency that make it possible for visually impaired people to tell paper bills apart.
Paying with cash, surfing the internet, or making a cell phone call are essential features of modern life, and ensuring that all people can participate in society should be a critical concern for our government. With the U.S. population rapidly aging, the number of people with vision loss is projected to increase substantially and action will be needed to ensure accessibility. This means a significant number of people will need money and technology to be vision loss-friendly.
We hope this ruling is a sign that more and more of our world will be made accessible to all people.
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