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Court: Dollars Need Differentiation for the Blind

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Our last word on business today involves money. The size of a five, the texture of a 20, the sound of a single. If you're blind, every U.S. paper bill is the same.

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

Yesterday, a U.S. district judge said that has to change. He ordered the Treasury Department to come up with some means to tell which bill is which, with different sizes, maybe raised ink, a bit of crinkly foil, something that allows blind people to tell the difference.

Melanie Brunson's group, The American Council of the Blind, worked on this case for four years.

Ms. MELANIE BRUNSON (The American Council of the Blind): I think it's 126 countries in the world who are already incorporating some sort of accessible features into their currency. And the United States has only made one concession in that regard, and that only helps some people with limited vision.

MONTAGNE: The United States stands alone, the judge said, in printing bills that are identical in size. The government has 10 days to decide whether to appeal the decision.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

And I'm John Ydstie. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.