DOJ appealed ruling that US currency discriminates against blind

On December 12, 2006, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an appeal against a November 2006 ruling 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 provides that no disabled person shall be "subjected to discrimination . . . under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency." In May 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld the ruling from the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The court found that the current design denied the blind "meaningful access" to the use of the paper currency, and that there are facially reasonable accommodations, such as differentiated bill sizes, that could be made to grant access.

Learn more about currency and laws concerning discrimination from the JURIST news archive.

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