Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Landmark Currency Ruling Appealed

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Landmark Currency Ruling Appealed

Article excerpt

In November 2006, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) won an initial victory in its four-year court fight against the U.S. federal government over inaccessible paper currency. A federal district court judge ruled that the U.S. Treasury Department illegally discriminated against people who are blind by printing its paper currency on bills of the same size that could not be distinguished by touch and that this was a violation of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination in government programs against people with disabilities. In his ruling, Judge James Robertson wrote, "Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations." Among the examples of accessible currency given by the judge to bolster the argument that the accommodations sought by the plaintiffs were reasonable were euros, which come in bigger sizes for higher denominations and have raised numerals as well as foil patches in different shapes; and yen, which include rough patches that are designed to help individuals identify various denominations by touch. During the court proceedings, the Treasury Department argued that making bills identifiable by touch would create an undue financial burden for the government. It estimated that printing different sizes for different denominations would cost $178 million for new printing presses and as much as $50 million for new plates.

Justice Department lawyers, on behalf of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, filed an appeal in mid-December 2006, to overturn the ruling. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.