The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) reports that Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, has submitted a supplemental report on the progress made to provide meaningful access to U.S. currency for blind and other visually impaired persons. Geithner reported that the Department of the Treasury has not yet established a timetable for the next currency redesign, which will include changes approved by the secretary of the treasury.
The secretary of the treasury approved the recommendation of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to provide “meaningful access” to U.S. currency to the blind and visually impaired by:
- adding a raised tactile feature
- adding large, high-contrast numerals and different colors, and
- implementing a supplemental currency reader distribution program for blind and other visually impaired U.S. citizens and legal residents.
“The news here is that a date for a currency redesign has not been designated – and this is very good news for the vending industry,” said Dan Mathews, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NAMA in a prepared statement.
“With our team in Washington, DC, we have been tirelessly advocating on behalf of our members on this case, beginning in September 2005 when we submitted an Amicus Brief in the U.S. District Court (D.C.) and in August 2007 when we submitted a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit).”
“Some of the original recommendations, including changing the size of currency, could have had a major impact and significant, if not devastating, cost to our industry,” Mathews continued.
“The requirement that there be a raised tactile feature, continued use of large high contrast numbers and a supplemental currency reader distribution program are all requirements that our industry can live with. Also, the redesign does not apply to $1 note and will go into effect only when the bills are next scheduled to be redesigned.”
The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) program is intended to make changes in U.S. currency as mandated earlier by the court to make U.S. currency more usable by blind and other visually impaired persons. The principal plaintiff in the original lawsuit was the American Council of the Blind.