DOJ appeals ruling that US currency discriminates against blind

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice filed an appeal Tuesday against a November 28 ruling [JURIST report] by US District Judge James Robertson declaring that "the Treasury Department’s failure to design and issue paper currency that is readily distinguishable to blind and visually impaired individuals violates section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act." Section 504 [US DOL materials] provides that no disabled person shall be "subjected to discrimination . . . under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency." Government lawyers argued in court papers that printing readily distinguishable bill denominations at the urging of the American Council of the Blind [advocacy website] would put undue burdens on the vending machine industry and would impose significant costs on the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing [official website], which produces American paper money. The government also argued that blind persons could already use personal readers to distinguish bills or opt to make payments by credit card instead.

The United States is the only nation of some 180 using paper currency that produces undifferentiated same-size same-color bills in all denominations. Approximately 1.3 million Americans are legally blind. AP has more.

 

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