Study to Address Options for Enabling the Blind and Visually Impaired Community to Denominate U.S. CurrencyBy Department of the Treasury - Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Publication Date: July 2009
Study explored options for improving the ability of the blind and visually impaired community to differentiate the various denominations of U.S. currency. Focus group discussions, usability testing, and a survey were conducted with 651 blind and visually impaired participants from multiple organizations and demographic groups to determine user needs. Foreign currencies with blind and visually impaired accommodations were included in the hands-on usability testing portion of the study, as were 4 sample currency features: (1) changes of color, contrast, and visual design of notes; (2) tactile features; (3) notes of different sizes for each denomination; and (4) commercial and prototype currency reader devices. Visually impaired participants were found to favor a high foreground/background contrast for the note’s primary numeral, and extreme differences in the location of features on notes across denominations. Blind participants demonstrated an average 89 percent accuracy in identifying notes featuring a system of notches cut into their top and bottom edges. Different-sized notes were found to be neither the fastest nor the most accurate denomination method. One of the prototype reader devices received high marks for portability and speed, whereas the commercial devices were found to be too slow. An economic analysis of the costs and benefits of the various alternative accommodations revealed that slide-in style note readers provided the greatest benefit, being easy to learn, providing 98 to 99 percent average accuracy in relatively short times, and being inexpensive.
Department of the Treasury - Bureau of Engraving and Printing (Website:http://www.bep.treas.gov/)
Link to text: http://www.bep.treas.gov/section.cfm/4/649#VISTable