United States paper money does not need to be redesigned for the blind12/17/12 at 07:10 PM | Published Under Current Events
When ACB and RSVA continue their misguided effort to force the US Treasury Department to change the shape or color of bills, or go so far as to make the Bureau of Engraving provide some sort of raised marking, they harm Randolph-Sheppard and tax payers. Enough with this ill-fated effort. You probably know that the National Association of Blind Merchants (NABM) joined the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to file amicus briefs opposing unreasonable and costly efforts to redesign currency. According to the United States Treasury, the cost to redesign US paper money would run into the billions. Those of us in the National Association of Blind Merchants who understand Randolph-Sheppard realize the burden that changing the look and feel of money would be. This would harm Randolph-Sheppard. It would hurt vending machine manufacturers and thousands of mom and pop vend operators. There are times to campaign for accessibility. There are times to demand equal access. The fact is, blind do need greater access to money. There is a 70% unemployment rate among blind people. Believe me. Blind people will find a way to know which bill they have in their hand. The difficulty is gaining the opportunity to earn the dollars. I can't understand why any blind vendors could be a part of or support an organization which takes precipitous action against our best interest. I certainly cannot understand any corporations, suppliers or equipment manufacturers who support an organization which has been campaigning against these companies' best bottom line interest for years. When a blind vendor attends the Sagebrush Conference, and when companies support this conference, they are in effect making a tacit endorsement of initiatives which are not in our community's best interest. If you don't believe that the ACB and their vendor group is still hard at work on initiative that would cost our industry millions, please read what the president of ACB had to say in his report at the ACB National Convention. Here is what he says:
"I need to comment briefly on developments surrounding ACB's efforts regarding accessible currency. The most recent status report released by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was, to say the least, a major disappointment. It fails to stipulate a time-table for circulation of the first accessible bill since our 2008 court victory. Our attorney, Jeffrey Lovitky, has issued a very strong response to the judge overseeing implementation of the settlement. Interestingly, the bureau is once again at our conference and convention to obtain still more input on the useful tactile features to incorporate into U.S. currency. Stop by their booth; be polite, but let the bureau's representatives know that our impatience is growing over the lack of tangible progress toward fully accessible legal tender."
That is what he says. For four years, a minority of blind people who are uninformed or ill-intentioned are raising a ruckus in a ridiculous attempt. It is wasteful and unnecessary.