Court: U.S. Paper Money Discriminates Against Blind
Paper money in the U.S. currency system discriminates against the visually impaired, because all bills are of the same size, feel, and color scheme regardless of denomination, a federal appeals court in the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday.
The 2-1 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the U.S. Treasury Department's existing paper currency system amounts to a "denial of meaningful access" under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal law that protects the rights of the disabled. The court also found that the Treasury Department failed to show that other reasonable, non-discriminatory alternatives to the existing paper currency system would be too burdensome. The Washington Post reports that the Council of the Blind -- the original plaintiff in the case -- ''has suggested distinguishing bills of different amounts by changing their size, adding embossed dots or foil to the paper, or using raised ink."
- Read Tuesday's Decision (FindLaw) [PDF file]
- Washington Post: Court Agrees That Paper Money Discriminates Against the Blind
- N.Y. Times: Ruling on U.S. Currency and the Blind
- Disability Discrimination (FindLaw)
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (FindLaw)
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