The Bureau of Engraving and Printing seeks public comment on efforts to make U.S. currency accessible to people with vision impairments. In a notice published in the Federal Register on May 20, the Bureau outlined potential actions to be undertaken and posed specific questions to the public. The Bureau is proposing to add a raised tactile feature to indicate currency denomination and to improve visual access through larger numbers, higher contrast, and more distinct color schemes. In addition, the agency is also considering a supplemental program to provide currency readers free to those who need them and to explore emerging technological solutions to further improve accessibility. These actions are based on a study of the issue previously commissioned by the Bureau and stem from a ruling in a court case filed by the American Council of the Blind.
The notice specifically seeks public input on criteria for tactile and visual features, including the type and location of tactile features, the size and contrast of numerals, impacts on cash handling industries and equipment, the currency reader program, and other topics. The notice, which includes instructions on submitting comment, is available through the online edition of the Federal Register at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. Comments are due August 18. For further information, contact Ellen Gano of the Bureau at (202) 874-1200.