Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Judge Says U.S. Money Violates Rights of the Blind

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the show-me-the-money-so-i-can-tell-it-apart dept.

The Almighty Buck 898

An anonymous reader writes, "The United States is one of the few countries in the world whose currency isn't distinguishable by blind people. Most other nations use raised text, different-sized bills, or other methods to assist blind people in spending their money. If a recent decision by a federal court in D.C. survives appeal, however, that will soon change. Under Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, federal programs cannot deny 'meaningful access' to people with disabilities. Because blind people are unable to distinguish U.S. currency without assistance, the court held that they are denied meaningful access to their own money. U.S. District Judge James Robertson ordered the Treasury Department to come up with ways for the blind to tell bills apart. He said he wouldn't tell officials how to fix the problem, but he ordered them to begin working on it." How Appealing notes that Judge Robertson opened the door to a speedy appeal of his ruling.

cancel ×

898 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Money Reader (3, Informative)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031178)

Well, you have to carry it around, but there are machines out there that when a bill is scanned through them, will report it's value. So, is there really a need to redesign the bills so that they're accessable to the blind?

Re:Money Reader (3, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031186)

are the readers free?

Re:Money Reader (4, Funny)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031332)

are the readers free?
Yes, they are.
They're called debit card readers.

Seriously, I worked with some blind people in college and they would just use a credit/debit card for everything.


Re:Money Reader (1, Insightful)

Z1NG (953122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031352)

are the readers free?

Are wheelchairs?

Re:Money Reader (2, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031416)

no but the wheelchair ramps that do the actual allowing access are.

get it?

Re:Money Reader (2, Insightful)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031438)

are the readers free?
Good point, but not when you consider trends in American treatment of disabled people. For example, the owners of places of public accomodation are prevented from discriminating on the basis of disability, but there is an upward limit on what they must implement. This is why pretty much any store or shop (among other facilities) has wheelchair ramps up the curb from the parking lot. Wheelchairs are not free, but it was judged that a ramp was the most effective and reasonable means to accomodate legless people.

The summary suggests that an appeal might be on its way, and I imagine the ruling will be shot down. To make any changes to currency would not only require completely recirculating the billions of papers out there, but it would probably require drastic changes to the printing process. Different shapes, sizes, or including braille print sound like expensive alterations.

I argue that reasonable accomodation is already being made. I forgot my bank PIN and I have been too lazy to call my bank and get a new one. For the last three months, I have had even less access to my money than a blind person (who knows his PIN) would have. I've been using my bank card on all purchases, something a blind person is just as capable of doing. My only advantage is that I can easily identify my card when it is returned to me and that I can read the receipt to make sure I wasn't overcharged. If I were blind, I could modify my card with an ice pick so I could easily verify that it's the right card.

I can testify that it kind of sucks to never have cash. I can't use the vending machines at work (of course, those aren't accessible to the blind anyway), and I can't use toll roads (except the new ones that mail you a bill). But I'm sure it gets old wheeling yourself up twenty feet of ramp to accomplish an elevation change of four feet. Sometimes being disabled sucks. It's always a good thing if the lives of disabled people can be improved, but we have to be reasonable. I think this amounts to splitting hairs.

Re:Money Reader (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031206)

Yet again, the "Greatest Civilization" in The Western World is trying to accomplish by unnecessary technology what other nations have done easily and more reliable.

It's those little things that really set other nations apart and show what kind of retarded state the US actually is.

But who cares about the blind when you have other countries to push around and intimidate.

Re:Money Reader (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031238)

You don't need a complex solution to this problem. All that needs to be done is perhaps that you add raised bumps to the next generation of bills.

And you should note that accessibility to the blind also means that a blind person can act as a cashier. I used to go to a shop with a blind cashier where all of the customers told the man what their purchases were and how much money they gave him. Being able to quickly sort through different bill sizes (and verify the correct values) would have been extremely valuable to him.

Re:Money Reader (1)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031542)

Raised bumps will be too easy to forge with the aim of tricking blind people as people with full vision will ignore the bumps.

Re:Money Reader (5, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031258)

Doesn't it make sense to have easily distinguishable notes anyway, blind or not? Finding the correct note in your wallet is much slower with dollars than Euros or pounds.

Re:Money Reader (1)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031444)

Aussie money is great as well, but I disagree about British pounds.
If you have a high denomination note like £50, then first you have to unfold it a few times.
I understand they want to differentiate based on size, but the £5 note is their only note that will comfortably fit in my standard-sized wallet.

Re:Money Reader (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031546)

but the £5 note is their only note that will comfortably fit in my standard-sized wallet.

Wallets are designed to hold money. Not the other way round. Mine holds a wad of £50 notes quite easily.

What about the nation's forgers? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031184)

US currency is the easiest to forge in the world. You take a $1 bill, wash it clean and reprint it with a $100 bill. This will really increase the costs to forgers, and they should sue the treasury for loss of earnings.

About time too ! (4, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031188)

The bills in the US are difficult to distinguish under conditions other than blindness, it's about time we caught up with the rest of the world. We make coins different shapes, sizes and textures, why not bills.

Don't do what china does (-1, Troll)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031194)

Don't do what China does and start offering money in different sizes. It's really annoying to use, and hard to stack.

Re:Don't do what china does (2, Informative)

Zebadias (861722) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031224)

China are hardly alone here! For example Euros and Pounds Stirling are both use different sizes for different amounts.

Re:Don't do what china does (1)

Zebadias (861722) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031250)

For 'are both' read 'also' :)

Re:Don't do what china does (4, Informative)

Svippy (876087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031242)

Exactly what they should do. Most currencies today are done like that, stacking currency is only done in the same bill, so you can tell the difference. Hence most other currencies uses different colours for each note.

The US is behind.

Re:Don't do what china does (0)

GateGuy (973596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031564)

Hence most other currencies uses different colours for each note.
Doesn't this discriminate against color blind people?

Re:Don't do what china does (1)

saintm (142527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031344)

Why on earth would you want to stack different denominations of currency? It would have to be quite a high stack to pose a 'topple' risk due to the difference in sizes.

Re:Don't do what china does (1)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031380)

Why even mention China at all? Why not say, "Don't use different sizes"? Does the fact that you used "China" add extra weight as to what *not* to do? Maybe there's some subconscious xenophobia at work here.

Never mind the fact that 25 countries in Europe use the Euro [chazellefamily.com] .

Re:Don't do what china does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031402)

Europe does the same thing, unfortunately.

I'm from Europe, but when I lived in the US for a while (year), I really preferred USD.

The coins are part of that though. For some reason I always ended up having less useless change in my pocket than i have in Europe.

Re:Don't do what china does (0, Flamebait)

servies (301423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031458)

So the size of the bills determines how much useless change you have in your pocket...
If that's the case you're not an Anonymous Coward but an Anonymous Idiot...

Re:Don't do what china does (1)

McWilde (643703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031506)

Since most stores have dropped the 1 and 2 cent coins here in Holland I sure end up with a lot less red coins. I used to drop the red ones into a mug on my desk at the end of each day. These days I tend just to leave them in my wallet. I never get more than two.

Re:Don't do what china does (2, Funny)

MicrosoftRepresentit (1002310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031448)

Different sizes doesn't help at all, blind people are completely incapable of judging size anyway as it has no meaning to them; theirs is a world without size, colour, distance or space. I have a blind friend, so I am well aware of their plight. What I do for him is to regularly cut his money into different shapes, for example I would cut all his £5 notes into stars, £10's into zigzags and £20's into smiling faces. He has no trouble distinguishing his money now, although it is no longer legal tender and serves no purpose.

Re:Don't do what china does (4, Interesting)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031532)

blind people are completely incapable of judging size anyway as it has no meaning to them; theirs is a world without size, colour, distance or space.

I can agree with you on colour, but without size, distance or space? I don't think so; they'd have trouble doing anything at all if they couldn't perceive those. Check out this guy [youtube.com] .

FINALLY (4, Insightful)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031212)

I can see quite well with glasses, and this very thing has annoyed me plenty of times. Why the hell are all our bills the same size, shape, and color?
Make them more distinct, and you'll speed up all cash transactions.
If nothing else the fast food industry will thank you :)

Re:FINALLY (4, Informative)

the_unknown_soldier (675161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031240)

In Australia notes are all different colors (red, green, blue, pink etcetc) to make it patently obvious which note is which. It might not help blind people, but it prevents silly mistakes and makes money easily identifiable!

For blind people they are slightly different lengths, which doesn't really effect non blind people.

Re:FINALLY (4, Informative)

Oscar_Wilde (170568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031510)

In Australia notes are all different colors (red, green, blue, pink etcetc) to make it patently obvious which note is which. It might not help blind people, but it prevents silly mistakes and makes money easily identifiable!
 
The polymer that Australian Bank Notes are made from also has raised areas to help the blind and the clear windows are also different shapes with a smoother texture. Not just handy for blind people; they're also good anti counterfeiting measures.

The Wikipedia article on the Australian Dollar [wikipedia.org] has a nice chart of the Polymer Series [wikipedia.org] . Having lived in Germany (post Euro), Australia and the U.S.A. I can honestly say that Australian banknote technology is something that the U.S.A. and many other countries really should look into licensing.

Re:FINALLY (2, Informative)

jaweekes (938376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031570)

The British Pound (£) has a lot of features to help the blind. The notes are a different size; different colours; the denomination is in big numbers in the corner; different shapes (the £10 has a diamond, I think the £5 has a circle); and the back is not just a different picture, but is completely different (colors, shapes, etc). All of which make it really easy to tell what the note is.

Re:FINALLY (3, Informative)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031286)

And if you add some kind of relief on the bills as well then you will most likely cut down on counterfeit bills as well. Swedish bills have the numbers printed with reliefs and it's very easy just to run your finger over them to make a preliminary check if the bill is real.

Credit cards (0, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031218)

No one should be handling cash anymore. It is filthy and sucks for all the reasons mentioned in the article.

Credit cards and direct deposit now exist and you can stop living in fear that someone is going to mug you for your cash. It also gives you a good excuse to feel no guilt as you walk past a homeless person.

Got change?
No. I got debt.

Integrating the blind into our cashless society would be a far better thing than to stick them with those dirty rags we call greenbacks.

Re:Credit cards (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031278)

That's great...except for me. And everybody else under 18 who can't have a credit card legally. And vending machines still only take cash.

Re:Credit cards (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031302)

That's a technical problem. Vending machines can be replaced and anyone can get a debit card (even if you're under 18).

It does require that you join society and actually have money, but since we're talking about people who have trouble with the money they have, I think that is a given.

Re:Credit cards (3, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031358)

So you want to use your credit card
  • In a taxi
  • to pay for a newspaper costing less than a dollar
  • For that round of drinks in a bar (well, OK, maybe that one)
  • To give a minor donation to a charity you approve of
I run nearly cashless, but I still can't do without it. And, as an example of the problems with US currency, I once, on a business trip to the states, tipped a waiter $100. Fortunately he took pity on this rather tipsy foriegner and pointed out my mistake.
Oh, and by the way, if you come to my home poker game, bring cash!

Re:Credit cards (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031410)

So, use e-cash instead. Chargeup a card. Everyone who sells goods or servies has an inexpensive reader. Touch the card on the bar. Drinks are paid for. Touch card on the door of a taxi. Journey is paid for. Give charity collectors readers.

The poker game is a bit harder.

Re:Credit cards (3, Insightful)

Draelen (920902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031464)

Why sure, make all your money electronic, where the only proof of your hard earned money is just digits on a computer somewhere, every single little transaction you make logged and tracked, where the bank can freeze it for little reason, soon a profile of ALL your spending habits is out in the open for all agencies to see. What a great idea!

Re:Credit cards (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031530)

Ecash systems don't need a central server. You can devise a system where everything is stored on the card. This just requires confidence in the authenticity of the card.

Didn't anyone think of RFID ?!?! (3, Funny)

tezza (539307) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031222)

Surely RFID tags in each note are the anwser??

Then blind people can carry around a conveniently sized RFID reader.

Just swipe past the reader and it'll tell you how much money is in your wallet. Or is that the amount in the next person's wallet? Ok, forget it.

Re:Didn't anyone think of RFID ?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031418)

That would also be convenient for thieves. I think I found a new profession: Selling RFID readers for more effective thievery. Never again will some rich tourist walk through my town unmolested!

Re:Didn't anyone think of RFID ?!?! (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031472)

OK, the OP got modded as funny, but it's not so far off the mark.

Currently, there are billions of bills in all denominations. They have a relatively short lifetime for the smaller bills, but years for the largest. Replacing these is not all that doable and extremely expensive because of re-tooling, re-design (yeah, government may re-tool before re-design :P), etc..

The other option is to provide the relatively fewer numbers of people suffering from blindness a small device that can read/distinguish the currency. The electronics already exist and is in wide use (look at any vending machine). It's not ideal for these people, but can be done relatively quickly. The government already has programs to provide similar devices.

Re:Didn't anyone think of RFID ?!?! (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031528)

Replacing these is not all that doable and extremely expensive because of re-tooling, re-design (yeah, government may re-tool before re-design :P), etc..

Europe did something like that, uh, a couple of years ago. Some European countries did something similar even longer ago. Are you saying there's something Europe can do that the US are incapable of ?

It's perfectly doable to phase out old bills and phase in new ones.

RFID Implants for everyone! (0, Offtopic)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031246)

I know, Why don't we just have RFID tags implanted in all of our hands. I mean, wouldn't swiping your hand under an RFID reader be so much easier ;)

Re:RFID Implants for everyone! (1)

petabyte (238821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031406)

"Give me your wallet."

"Well, ok, but now I carry all of my money in this chip embedded in my hand."
*Lops off your hand and runs off with it*

Am I the only one that saw that problem coming?

Why appeal? (5, Insightful)

wizrd_nml (661928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031254)

Why is the Treasury Department appealing this ruling? They should embrace it and start solving the problem.

Who exactly is harmed with this decision? I don't even see why it went to court in the first place.

It's expensive (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031266)

The cost to retool the machinery is significant. I don't know where they'd be able to scrape together that sort of cash.

Re:It's expensive (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031314)

Yeah, it's not as if they have a license to print money or anything. Oh, wait...

Re:It's expensive (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031318)

I don't know where they'd be able to scrape together that sort of cash.

LOL.

As it stands they won't be able to keep up with the crooks without some reengineering. But they are doing that, aren't they?

Re:It's expensive (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031516)

Considering that they have blown (how much?) money redesigning the bills semi-annually to thwart folks bleaching ones and printing 20's, I can't understand it either. If they actually DID make the bills different sizes conterfieters wouldn't be able to do this.

Just remember Treasury dudes: Print the smaller denominations on smaller paper than the big denominations because lord knows we all know what a paper cutter is for.

And for God's sake don't ditch the dollar coins... AGAIN. We are finally getting vendomats that will take them.

Re:It's expensive (1)

caveman (7893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031554)

The UK manufactures banknotes for a number of countries other than itself (we make Euro coins too, despite not actually being in the 'EuroZone'). The USA could outsource it's money production to a cheaper country, or a country already set up to print secure currency.

If the notes are redesigned, they would hopefully be designed to the latest anti-forgery standards, with holograms, embedded or overprinted strips (reflective, temperature sensitive, holographic, interwoven etc.), partial designs on opposite sides (so that if both sides are printed even slightly off-centre, the note looks completely wrong when held up to light)

Besides, machinery like that can pay for itself, literally ;-)

Re:Why appeal? (1)

jbourj (954426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031520)

Because Robertson's decision didn't just say the Treasury department was in the wrong, it ordered the Treasury Department [nytimes.com]
to start discussing within 30 days potential remedies, including different note sizes for different denominations and raised numerals and perforated dots on the bills.

That's a time scale, which is very short for bureaucracy.

Fold your $! (5, Interesting)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031268)

I always did wonder how, in the U.S., blind people dealt with money. I ended up meeting a friend of my father's who was blind, so I asked him. He told me that he has someone (someone who can see, obviously) fold his money a certain way -- singles get folded in half, 5's got folded into an L-shape, 10's got folded another way and so on so that he always knew what denomination of money he was taking out of his wallet.

Reminds me of a comment (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031540)

Back when I was in elementary school, they had a blind lady visit and talk with us. She said something similar. But she added "and I don't let $100 bills out of my hand."

Re:Fold your $! (1)

Builder (103701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031590)

That's fine for money that he already has, but how does he know he's not getting stiffed when people give him change?

Damn, I thought SA was backwards, but we've had excellent support for the blind with regards to currency there for years.

Accessibility is good for everybody (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031274)

Ramps built into buildings for wheelchairs make it easier to get heavy gear in and out. Braile on ATM keyboards and lift buttons make it easier to distinguish between keys. Audio-tactile devices on pedestrian crossings provide a better UI for people regardless of whether they can see or not.

Trust me. US currency will be better for everybody if it accomodates blind people.

Re:Accessibility is good for everybody (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031544)

I keep looking at the handicap ramps and think "That's going to make life so much easier for a tracked or wheeled robot."

Re:Accessibility is good for everybody (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031574)

Yep. The Daleks' only weakness is they can't climb stairs.

Why destroy our only chance of survival?

This is an easy thing to solve... (4, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031276)

Scratch and sniff.

Make each bill smell like something else. Make a five smell like coffee, since thats what a coffee at starbucks costs. Ten smells like pizza. Twenty smells like chinese food, and a hundred smells like fine leather.

The one doesn't smell like a damn thing, since you can't do much with it anyway.

Re:This is an easy thing to solve... (2, Funny)

Alkonaut (604183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031428)

The one doesn't smell like a damn thing, since you can't do much with it anyway.
Aren't they mainly used for tipping strippers? Oh wait.

Re:This is an easy thing to solve... (1)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031432)

Change the $1 to a coin - in Canada, they started using coins for the lower bills to reduce cost, since coins last longer.

A positive(?) side effect is that many people start to spend more because having $1 and $2 coins in their pockets weighs them down.

Re:This is an easy thing to solve... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031470)

They tried to do that in the US, but it never really took of. I think it is quite hard to make such a change in the US, most people are very resistant to change, like using the metric system.

The US mint wanted to use coins, it would have saved them about $25 million a year, but nobody liked it. They really should have just forced the issue, like they did in Australia and the UK. Of course, everybody hated it, but we all got used to after a while.

Re:This is an easy thing to solve... (1)

MisterSquiddy (905066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031476)

You can buy a song from iTunes with a dollar so make it smell of apple.

Re:This is an easy thing to solve... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031558)

My wallet is going to smell pretty raunchy at the end of the week.

Besides, when all the bills rub together he scent is going to transfer. Plus you can make any bill smell like the 100 with a cheap can of "New Car Smell"

Fool non blind people too (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031282)

Have a wad of $1's and put a $100 note in either side. Or just have 1 odd $1 in the pack and short change the sucker by $99

Declining dollar (2, Insightful)

wicho661 (1007571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031288)

Accessibility of the physical dollar to the blind is the least of the Treasury's problems. How about addressing it's declining value?

Also, speaking as a business owner, changing the bill's size would cost me time and money. No thanks!

How about adding Braille (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031294)

Or some easily distinguishable raised section?

this has the added benefit of adding an extra anti-forgery mechnaism.

I don't understand what the problem is (2, Interesting)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031322)

About 8 years ago I working in a building that had a blind man (none of this legally/partially blind bs) running the convience stand. He showed me one day how he determined the value of the currency handed to him. He felt the ridges on the corners of the bills. He could also feel the patterns of the faces.

Pull out an old style $1 from your wallet. This the type of bill he was working with at the time. The black ink is slightly raised. The newer bills have slightly raised black ink too with different patterns. Run your finger nail across them to feel the ridges.

Re:I don't understand what the problem is (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031386)

Slowly slip your finger into the crease. Rub the tips of your index finger along the outer edge and blow softly to smooth over the fibers.

Now wet your finger with your tongue and ever so delicately pinch the corner between your thumb and forefinger.

That's it. Slowly. Just like that, baby. Mmm..

Re:I don't understand what the problem is (1)

stuffman64 (208233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031394)

Though I surely can't tell a bill's denomination the way you describe it, I can tell the denomination of newer bills that use the color-shifting ink on the bottom right ($10-$100). They are different sizes, and quite easy to distinguish by just brushing your finger over them. The ink for this is much thicker than the regular printing ink.

Re:I don't understand what the problem is (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031512)

ridiculous.

anyone who has ever been anywhere outside of the U.S knows and understands that the U.S currency is the worst to handle in the entire world.

Even if you can see, its all the same size and colour. its the only currency i'm aware of that you actually have to look at the front face of each note to determine its denomination.

determining a notes denomination based on the thickness of the ink used to print it seems far fetched to me.

Re:I don't understand what the problem is (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031484)

Yeah, I saw that movie to, pretty funny. See no evil, do no evil.

ATMs (3, Interesting)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031328)

Come to think about it, ATMs must be nigh on impossible to use too.

Inserting the card and entering a PIN sounds doable blind - but then you're presented with screens to navigate via soft keys (and it's different between ATMs). No chance.

Funny the things us sighted people take for granted.

Re:ATMs (2, Interesting)

Alkonaut (604183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031404)

ATM:s here (Europe) have Braille buttons and one button switches on a speaker voice reading the instructions on screen.

Re:ATMs (1)

dogwoodwind (1033280) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031478)

I wanna see the blind guy that drives up to the ATM. If he can drive, he can see money. Seriously though, Currency carries GERMS and is NASTY. Everyone should be using ATM / DEBIT cards. It's more secure, safe and wouldn't infringe on blind folks.

Re:ATMs (2, Funny)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031498)

Finding a hot chick must be pretty hard as well. I mean, I guess you feel her to make sure she doesn't have any moles or a moustache, but how can you feel pretty? Can't be done.

Re:ATMs (1)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031522)

but how can you feel pretty? Can't be done.

Ask Maria from West Side Story. She feels pretty.

Re:ATMs (1)

Diamondback (111383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031514)

Almost every ATM I've seen where I live (Michigan) has a button with braille under it that will cause the ATM to read everything on the screen to the person using it.

Get rid of low denomination bills (1)

MisterSquiddy (905066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031338)

I am surprised that the US still uses bills for $1 and $5. Equivalent value denominations in Europe are generally (and I am talking about pound sterling and Euros) coins. As an occasional visitor I have noticed that US bills have the least variety across the range I have every come across. It's probably time for a redesign.

Finally take the $1 bill (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031398)

and turn it into a coin. Not this half-assed production of a few coins and predominantly bills. Get it over with and make it purely coins. It'll make vending machines more convenient. Coins are easily distinguishable.

On mony, just have an imprinted (raised) mark whereever the denomination number is printed. It doesn't have to be elaborate - just dots like braile.

I'm surprised this didn't come sooner with the Americans with disabilities act, or some such.

Re:Finally take the $1 bill (2, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031440)

I forgot to add, also raised the portrait in the middle through imprinting and make it slightly 3d. This will help if the dots get worn or screwed with.

Re:Finally take the $1 bill (4, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031480)

If we get rid of the dollar bill, what are people supposed to use at strip bars? A five is a little bit much for most people and I can't imagine having underwear full of coins is helpful when dancing. Please people, think of the strippers.

Stupid idea alert (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031572)

and turn it into a coin. Not this half-assed production of a few coins and predominantly bills. Get it over with and make it purely coins. It'll make vending machines more convenient. Coins are easily distinguishable.

On mony, just have an imprinted (raised) mark whereever the denomination number is printed. It doesn't have to be elaborate - just dots like braile.

I'm surprised this didn't come sooner with the Americans with disabilities act, or some such.

No. Not going to happen because not all vending machines accept dollar coins. Its one of the reasons why the coins never caught on.

Never mind the blind! (4, Funny)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031422)

On a trip to the states a while back, in a dimly lit strip club, I accidentally gave several $20 bills to a stripper instead of $1s, got a bit more than I bargained for. Wouldn't say it was a waste exactly, but you can't claim that shit back on expenses!

AllOfMoney.com (1)

MisterSquiddy (905066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031434)

I hate the US Treasury and everything it stands for. I buy my dollars from a perfectly legal Russian website for 10c on the dollar.

On the shoulders of giants... or something... (1)

Ranma21 (651226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031442)

You don't have to put bumps etc on the notes. In Australia each note is 3-4mm longer than another of lower denomination, but they are all the same width. That way, it's easy to handle with vending machines (width) and easy for blind to sort out (length. And they stay nicely. They are also polymer-based, almost indestructible and carry vastly more electronic counter-measures than the old US currency. Don't re-invent the wheel, just check out what other countries have come up with (after countless iterations).

Limited options (1)

Programmer_Errant (1004370) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031446)

You can't change the size or shape of the currency. There's way too much currency handling equipement, e.g. bill counters, bill changers, and atm's, in place to be able to be able to handle that. Any encoding scheme like OCR, magnetic ink or rfid would require a reader device which might be awkward. The only thing I can think of is to punch holes in the money, a sort of negative braille. You'd have to arrange the hole patterns so that any attempt to modify them would produce an invalid pattern. And you'd want to reenforce the holes slightly so they wouldn't tear too easily.

Re:Limited options (1)

Bronster (13157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031504)

Funnily enough, changing to plastic notes which behave different in many respects didn't kill us here in Australia. Think of it as a business opportunity for the manufacturers of replacement bill readers.

Sure it will cost a bit, but damn it's a good excuse for you sorry lot to update your currency from the least attractive and most counterfeited currency in the world to something with basic security and longevity built in.

What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031452)

Seriously, what's next? Will they require money to be discernible by quadriplegics? Will they require radio to be accessible to the deaf? Where will this stop?

Poor decision by a bad judge (4, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031468)

This is just a really poor decision that should be blocked by the next court up the chain. Reading the decision the judge goes into how bad it is that the bill are all the same and how it places a hardship, which it does. However devices are available which allow around which allow the money to meet the law. The judge should of told the people sueing that they should go take it up with thier congressmen; instead of doing this stupid soapbox speech.

Some other decision by him:
Private unions cannot expell members who spread "falsehood and misrepresentation" because that breaks the members freedom of speech.
Has through out a few cases for companies giving expensive gifts to government officials.
In various court cases has just ignored major case points on various parties and ruled based on older laws that had been superceded.

Re:Poor decision by a bad judge (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031568)

However devices are available which allow around which allow the money to meet the law.

Yeah. Next thing you're saying is that handicapped access isn't necessary because all the dudes in wheelchairs can bring their own crane, huh ?

Needing a device to deal with an everyday item like cash is a pain in the ass. Also, those devices are hardly available for free.

Re:Poor decision by a bad judge (4, Informative)

oberondarksoul (723118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031588)

Here in the UK, all our banknotes are different sizes and colours, and have a unique symbol on them as well (the £5 note has a blue square, the £10 a brown diamond, and so on). Frankly, as you're rifling through your wallet trying to find the right note, these distinguishing features are a godsend; when I was in the USA on holiday, it was much more time-consuming, although having said that the uniquely-blue $20 note helped a lot.

Having easily-discernable banknotes will save everyone time, and will help the partially-sighted or blind a great deal. Why should they need to buy a device when it can be done by the money printers to everyone's benefit?

Never. Never. Never. It's sooo un-American. (4, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031482)

Ain't going to happen. Europe does it (as well as integrating a whole bunch of additional anti-counterfeit measures), so it must be un-American. Never mind the blind, God (with a capital G) must hate them or they wouldn't be blind, right ? Also, it could help the terrorists. Dollar notes are just fine the way they are.

The Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE BANK. (0)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031486)

The way I see it the Federal Reserve is outside that court's jurisdiction. The Federal Reserver (misnomer)
is not a "Federal" but instead a privately owned bank, large shares distributed across the usual suspects
from Rockefeller to the Rothschildts themselves to the Bank of England.

Maybe the new "Amero" bills will be a little more friendly to the blind http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amero [wikipedia.org]

Aussie currency... (1)

bezza (590194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031548)

In my recent around the world trip, I had to pay attention to the different type of currency I was dealing with every day.

By far the worst was US currency. Tough to tell which was which without pulling it out and looking at it, and generally it was of poor quality too, especially the $1 notes. I was relieved when I got some $1 coins but they were few and far between.

Even Croatian currency was much easier to deal with. Different colours and sizes made it easy. I found the euro and pound to be ok, but they were too large of a size to fit in my wallet properly. This seemed to be a common porblem because they were always ripped on the ends indicating that it wasn't only me with this issue.

Still the best currency I have dealt with is Australian currency. It is made of plastic so it always in great shape and was in distinctly different colours and sizes to make it easy to use. It was small enough to fit in any wallet too. Must be a hard currency to counterfeit because of the clear plastic windows and such. I find it hard to believe the largest economy in the world can't change to this new technology!

Why fucking bother with the god-damned Blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17031566)

Why not let natural selection take its course instead?

Go AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR WASTE YOUR G0D-DAMNED MOD POINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!

about time (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17031576)

it's true, american money is ass when it comes to telling what note is what. how hard could it be to make each note a different size?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?