Because different denominations of United States paper currency lack tactile features, those who are blind or visually impaired are at a disadvantage when identifying their cash. Credit cards and contactless payment methods have in a lot of ways done away with the need for cash transactions but there will always be situations in which cash payments are required or preferred. Think how many times you reach for cash to pay for gas or leave a tip in a restaurant and unfortunately, money counterfeiters aren’t the only fraction of society that have the ability to rip people off. We’ve compiled the top four ways to identify and handle cash for those who are blind or visually impaired below.
Image via the US State Department
Arguably the simplest method of identifying cash is by folding the different denominations in your wallet. This process can be done by leaving the $1 unfolded, the $5 folded lengthwise, the $10 folded by width and the $20 folded by lengthwise and then by width. Though simple, this identification method leaves major room for error.
Click Pocket Money Brailler
Another simple but significantly more reliable method of identifying cash is a money brailler. At less than $20 a money brailler is a small, cost-effective gadget that embosses different denominations with a braille number for easy identification. This tool can be hooked onto your key-chain and requires no battery or upkeep to function.
Buy Now HERE
United States Currency Reader Program
Image via the U.S. Department of the Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing
The iBill is a free device that is manufactured and distributed by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing that identifies all denominations of US currency. This device runs on a single AAA battery, (included in the package) is lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket. All the user has to do to operate the iBill is insert their money into the reader and then the device will use one of three different methods of authentication. The user can choose between a human voice that states the value of the bill or a more discreet series of vibrations or tones.
Download an application for a currency reader HERE
The United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing has also contributed to the production of two free apps for mobile phones/tablets that identify cash. The first app EyeNote utilizes your phone’s camera along with image recognition technology to identify the bills’ denomination. EyeNote was created in the Apple iOS platform and is available to download through the Apple App Store. The second app which is geared towards Android users, is called the IDEAL Currency Identifier. This app also utilizes your phones’ camera but is a simple text to speech concept. The identification happens by scanning the number on the bill and then the app turning that information to an audible response. Though both apps work to identify all denominations of US currency the advantage of the IDEAL Currency Identifier is that the phone or device does not have to be connected to the internet to work.
Download the EyeNote app HERE
Download the IDEAL Currency Identifier HERE