Main content

Alert message

The BEP is providing currency readers, free of charge, to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals. 

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has asked TSBVI to spread the word about their U.S. Currency Reader Program. 

 

Currency readers became widely available to all U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired, on January 2, 2015. Individuals interested in receiving a currency reader must submit an application, signed by a competent authority such as a doctor or other medical professional who can certify eligibility. If the applicant has verification of a visual impairment issued by another federal, state, or local agency, a copy can be submitted with the application in lieu of certification. If an applicant is currently a registered patron of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) the applicant can indicate that on the application and no additional certification is needed.

The application must be in the name of a visually impaired person. Applications, available in English and in Spanish, can be downloaded at http://moneyfactory.gov/uscurrencyreaderform.html.

They also want you to know about the mobile application EyeNote® 2.0 which is a free mobile device application developed by the BEP as an aid in identifying denominations of Federal Reserve notes. It uses image recognition technology and the device’s integrated camera to recognize a Federal Reserve note and utilizes a continuous scan function with no need to hold the device still or capture a photo. Eyenote® is built on the Apple iOS platform and is available to download on the Apple App Store℠. EyeNote® 2.0 also utilizes VoiceOver for vocal and gesture feedback if it is turned on for the target iOS device. There is also the IDEAL® Currency Identifier, a free downloadable app that operates on the Android platform.

In May 2011, then Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner approved methods that the Department of the Treasury will use to provide blind and visually impaired individuals with meaningful access to U.S. currency. The approved methods include:

  • A Raised, Tactile Feature: Adding a raised tactile feature to U.S. currency unique to each U.S. Federal Reserve note that it may lawfully change, which will provide users with a means of identifying each denomination via touch. BEP will consult with currency
  • High Contrast Numerals: Continuing the program of adding large high contrast numerals and different colors to each denomination that it is permitted by law to alter. BEP will consult with currency stakeholders at all stages of the process.
  • A Currency Reader Program: Implementing a supplemental currency reader distribution program for blind and visually impaired U.S. citizens and those legally residing in the U.S.

You can get this and more information at http://moneyfactory.gov/resources.html (they have a sense of humor, too).