Update: paper money design unfair to blind

The Treasury Department is appealing U.S. District Judge James Robertson’s ruling (Nov. 29) that it’s unlawful for the nation’s paper currency not to be redesigned in ways that would make it more easily used by the visually handicapped. (“Feds Say No To Blind-Friendly Paper Money”, AP/CBSNews.com, Dec. 12). The Gimp Parade (Dec. 16) rounds up lots of links on the controversy.


  • What next? multi language currency?

  • Take all blind people in the US. Give them the choice, different sized paper money or the cost of changing to different sized paper money distributed to the class of blind people, in a final settlement of this case. Any class settlement payout would be in the current sized currency. I know what the lawyers would choose, don’t ask them.

  • But on the other hand, if the ADA is being used by the government to force businesses to make things more accessible, why not use it to force the government to do the same?

    Something about being hoisted by one’s own petard…

  • Justinian: Check the party name on this case. The ADA access provision applies to the state courthouse, ignoring the Eleventh Amendment.


    The SC said the disabled had a right to physical access to the courthouse. This decision is predictable from the Rent Seeking Theory, a grand unifying theory of appellate decisions.

    Once inside the court? The disabled has the right to help the lawyer generate lawyer fees, by attending court.

  • Why is it that the US persists in using paper money that is impossible for blind people to easily distinguish?

    Down here, different denomination notes are different sizes, as is the case with nearly any other currency on the planet, to allow the blind to tell (with some practice) what the value of the bill they’re holding is.

    Don’t make like this is some radical new idea being foisted upon your society, it’s merely something that (like the metric system) the rest of the world has been doing for years.