Blind Oppose Changing US Currency

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email

On November 28th a federal judge ruled the U.S. Treasury Department needed to come up with a new design for paper money that would make it identifiable to the blind by touch.

But the Bush Administration is appealing the decision and the national federation of the blind stands behind them. They say dealing with currency is not a problem and they have learned to adapt to using money just like they have to many other things in life.

"It’s trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist," says George McDermith who has been blind since the age of 17.

He says it’s simply a matter of adapting and that if the blind have the appropriate training they can pretty much do anything that a sighted person can do.

McDermith says when it comes to money...he just folds each bill differently before it goes into his wallet...he folds a 5-dollar bill in half....10's get folded lengthwise and 20's are folded in half twice.

"We feel that a ruling like this merely singles us out as needing help from the government or from whoever is opposed to finding our own alternative techniques to handling the various situations that confront us in life," McDermith said.

He says with a current un-employment rate of 70-percent he feels it’s important we focus on getting the blind jobs instead of changing our currency.

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