The U.S. Treasury announced last week that the new $10 bill, to be released in 2020, will feature a woman. This is fantastic news! The other great thing about the bill is its potential accessibility to people who are blind and visually impaired.
For decades, people who are blind have been lobbying for accessible currency. Many other countries–like Australia and Canada–have accessible currency. Hong Kong has braille at the bottom of its banknotes, while many countries use colors and raised letters to differentiate bills.
Blind people have found hacks to get around this lack of accessibility. Some fold each denomination differently, or place them in different parts of their wallets or purses. The U.S. Treasury does offer a free, accessible currency reader, the iBill Currency Reader, which speaks aloud what currency is being scanned. However, these are just workarounds, and a permanent solution is much needed.
When announcing the bill last week, the Treasury said the note would be tactile, but was vague on specifics. It remains to be seen how accessible the $10 bill will actually be.
And really, we shouldn’t have to wait another 5 years to get ONE accessible banknote. What about the $1, $5, $20, $50, etc.? They should be made accessible too and in a reasonable amount of time.
What features would YOU like to see on U.S. currency? Braille, contrasting colors, raised letters? Leave a reply and let us know!