National Council on Disability Document Archive

HR2067 on accessible currency, by Rivers

Posted by: Jamal Mazrui
Date Mailed: Friday, July 18th 1997 03:12 PM

              H.R.2067 As introduced in the House, June 25, 1997               
                   ----------------------------------------                    
 
                                                                              I
  105th CONGRESS
    1st Session
                                   H. R. 2067
 
  To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to incorporate certain features in
      the redesign of the United States currency so as to make such currency
      readily accessible to the visually impaired.
 
 
                         ------------------------------
 
 
                         IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                  June 25, 1997
  Ms. Rivers introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
      on Banking and Financial Services
 
 
                         ------------------------------
 

                                     A BILL
  To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to incorporate certain features in
      the redesign of the United States currency so as to make such currency
      readily accessible to the visually impaired.

                          ==============================
 
 
      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,


  SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; FINDINGS.
 
      (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the "Common Sense Currency Act
  of 1997".
 
      (b) Findings.--The Congress hereby finds the following:
 
          (1) Approximately 3,700,000 Americans are visually disabled,
      3,500,000 Americans have low vision, and another 9,000,000 Americans live
      with milder forms of visual impairment.
 
          (2) As the geriatric population of the United States increases, so
      will the number of people with low vision.
 
          (3) Many Americans who are visually impaired are employed, provide
      for themselves, and lead active and productive lives.
 
          (4) In one critical area, however, the self-sufficiency of the
      visually impaired is greatly hindered: the uniform size and color of
      United States currency makes even the simplest commercial transaction a
      risky venture for the visually impaired.
 
          (5) The United States stands virtually alone out of all the nations
      of the world in the use of a single color scheme for all denominations of
      currency since 167 countries use a clearly differentiated color scheme
      for all denominations of currency and 2 additional countries use a
      clearly differentiated color scheme for at least some denominations of
      currency.
 
          (6) In addition, many countries use different sizes for different
      denominations of currency and at least 23 countries incorporate tactile
      features on currency to permit the use of such currency by the [blind].
 
          (7) Many of the options available for currency design which would
      reduce the risk of loss through mistake, deceit, or fraud for the
      visually impaired would also be beneficial for the general "seeing"
      population and would reduce the amount of losses incurred by businesses
      through mistakes, fraud, or the mishandling of currency by cashiers at
      the cash register.


  SEC. 2. REDESIGNED CURRENCY REQUIRED TO INCORPORATE FEATURES FOR THE VISUALLY
      IMPAIRED.
 
      (a) In General.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall incorporate the
  following features in the design of all denominations of United States
  currency consistent with the principles described in subsection (b):
 
          (1) Size.--A different size note shall be used for each different
      denomination of Federal reserve notes.
 
          (2) High-contrast numerals.--The denomination of each Federal reserve
      note shall appear in large high-contrast numerals on a uniform
      background.
 
          (3) Color scheme.--A clearly differentiated color scheme shall be
      used for each denomination of currency.
 
          (4) Engraved marks.--Specific engraved marks, visible or invisible,
      shall be used for each denomination of United States currency.
 
      (b) Principles Applicable to Currency Design.--In redesigning the United
  States currency in accordance with subsection (a), the following principles
  shall apply:
 
          (1) Readily identifiable denominations.--It should be fast and easy
      to identify and distinguish the denominations of the redesigned currency.
 
          (2) No special devices.--The identification of the denominations of
      currency by the visually impaired should not require any special devices
      or equipment other than everyday aids, such as eyeglasses.
 
          (3) Cost-effective.--The redesign of the currency should be cost-
      effective.
 
          (4) Combination of tactile and other features.--The redesigned
      currency should include tactile features to enable the blind to use the
      currency as well as the color and size features described in subsection
      (a) for the visually impaired.



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