r/Damnthatsinteresting Jun 27 '22 Helpful 8 Silver 4 Wholesome 1

This tools adds braille so that blind people can differentiate USD currency amount Video

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35.1k Upvotes

2.3k

u/PerpConst Jun 27 '22

Some far-flung cousin of mine committed suicide a few years back, and my mother was asked to assist the attorney with going through his home to identify valuables and prepare the home for demolition (he was a hoarder).

We quickly noticed that there was money all over the place in the home. The best we could figure is that the guy was legally blind and would make all of his purchases with pre-identified $10 and $20 bills. Any change that he received would literally just get thrown on the floor when he got home. We shoveled up thousands of dollars-worth of coins into 5-gallon buckets and picked up several thousand more in in $1 and $5 bills from the floor, under the furniture... everywhere.

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u/__Emer__ Jun 27 '22

Did he not get any help with living? Sounds like no one ever came to his house… sad

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u/PerpConst Jun 28 '22

Very, very sad. He was... I don't know what you call it.. he was a genius (PhD physicist) that lived with his mother. After his mother passed, there was nobody take care of the house or him, so both fell into disrepair. He did have family that tried to stop by and who wanted to help, but he'd either refuse to answer the door or ask them to come back another time, then repeat the process.

We didn't know him at all, so most of the empathy was kind of detached "how sad" type feelings. In all honesty, though, even that was mostly overshadowed by the morbid curiosity of looking into the mind of madness. I won't share the gory or embarrassing details, but being in that house had me questioning how far any of us really are from his fate.

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u/harleyqueenzel Jun 28 '22

Without prying, was there anything within the home, outside of piles of money, that seemed "on par" with his madness that anyone on the outside would let out audible gasps over?

I'm kind of picturing a mix of A Beautiful Mind, Charley from IASIP, and da Vinci. I'm also morbidly curious, I'm sorry. You don't have to answer.

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u/PerpConst Jun 28 '22 Silver All-Seeing Upvote I'll Drink to That

He was more along the lines of Howard Hughes, if you catch my drift...

He was apparently worried about something coming down the chimney. I found several improvised spears made from WW2 era Japanese boot knives next to the fireplace along with a modified cattle prod, and inside the fireplace was a trap(?) that he had made using parts from a dismantled stun gun.

He had a homemade array of deep cycle batteries and charging circuits and inverters rigged up in the basement to provide power to a homemade alarm system and backup power to a grow room (nothing growing at the time), which I found fascinating in light of the fact that he had no running water. If I hadn't been there to figure out what was going on, the lawyer would have called the bomb squad because of all of the batteries and wires and black boxes and whatnot.

I'm a gun guy, so this has always stuck out to me: He had a Marlin Camp 9 (a 9mm carbine), which came with a 12 round magazine. 9mm ammo is sold in boxes of fifty. I found at least a dozen boxes of ammunition, and if they were opened, they were missing exactly 12 rounds, so he apparently never loaded more than one magazine out of the same box. That's the gun he killed himself with, and there were 10 rounds left in the magazine (plus one in the chamber), meaning he loaded up 12 rounds to shoot himself.

Despite his house being an unmitigated disaster, his computer files were meticulously organized. His primary "hobby" was disability advocacy around his town, and he had tens of thousands of catalgued photographs of various sidewalks and trip/slip hazards that he would identify and notify the city of. His advocacy had, of course, long since passed from "helpful concerned citizen" to "crazy guy who knows every square of sidewalk that can accumulate more than 1/8" of standing rainwater and constantly mails multi-page letters to city hall with massive bundles of supporting evidence". We found several that had been "return to sender"ed with letters along the lines of PLEASE STOP.

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u/Tennis-elbo Jun 28 '22

This is the most fascinating reddit tale I've heard in a very long while. Thanks for sharing it.

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u/shipsintheharbor Jun 28 '22

Same

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u/winter_mum11 Jun 28 '22

Word. He deserved better from society in general. Appreciate hearing his story.

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u/Adito99 Jun 28 '22

That's pretty incredible. He probably benefited a lot of lives before completely slipping into insanity.

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u/GumballQuarters Jun 28 '22

Thanks for sharing. Interesting story though I’m sorry to hear about it.

I think that you’re right and we’re all a bit closer to that fate than we may be willing to accept.

Sounds like he was trying to make the world a better place and became fed up with a lack of impact and lost his place in the world when his support system failed.

I don’t know how close you were, but I know how close you need to be to go clean out a home after that and I’m sorry for your loss.

Thank you for sharing a piece of his story.

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u/Dragyn828 Jun 28 '22

At times I think I can feel like this invisible wall in my mind... Less of a wall as much as a thickening fog and if I allow myself to go into it, I may not find my way out. At times it would almost feels necessary to tow the "line". I never crossed it but some form of my own morbid curiosity wonders what would happen if I did.

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u/Redditalt2comment Jun 28 '22

Not to be pedantic, but the phrase is "toe the line."

Have a great day!

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u/Dragyn828 Jun 28 '22

Thanks. I only ever heard it.

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u/Choice_Net482 Jun 28 '22

Op your gunna wanna save this it will be part of Reddit history And I feel bad about making it about Reddit but it’s something I will always remember Maybe I should break into more homes /s

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u/MessicanFeetPics Jun 28 '22

How was someone batshit crazy and legally blind able to get a gun?

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u/SunshineAlways Jun 28 '22

We don’t know if he was always blind, and we don’t know if family had guns in the house. Real life is rarely straight forward.

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u/PopOtherwise8995 Jun 28 '22

You should watch The Electric Life of Louis Wain, you may like it if you’re curious about the human mind.

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u/substandardpoodle Jun 28 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

At least look up Louis Wain - born in 1860. That man could draw some damn cats!

Edit: and owls and dogs and even check out his deco cat statues (he lived ‘til 1939). Is he the father of psychedelic art or something?

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u/PopOtherwise8995 Jun 28 '22

He’s gotta be! The man managed to change how society viewed cats.

It’s so fascinating to me how his art style seemed to inherently be linked with his mental health. The more his mental health appears to wither away the more his style evolved into something mysteriously beautiful.

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u/lonelypenguin20 Jun 28 '22

dude sounds like he had some mental issues. very sad the system failed him

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u/[deleted] Jun 28 '22

Loneliness comes with disability. Also mental decline from a lifetime of isolation.

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u/Your_One_Lord Jun 27 '22

starting to see why he killed himself

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u/Kaatochacha Jun 28 '22

There's that fine dividing line between crazy and genius. I know a guy who was a certified genius, a true Renaissance man skilled in so many subjects- math, biology, English literature, physics, music...but became homeless and paranoid. It's like the brain can't handle it.

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u/_FatDodo Jun 27 '22

What if someone stamps $20 brail on $1 and gives the $1 with incorrect brail to blind person to take advantage of them ? Its shitty but I can see that happening.

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u/queenringlets Jun 27 '22

This already happens to blind people when they get change.

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u/coldstar Jun 28 '22

Ray Charles used to demand to be paid in only one dollar bills for this reason.

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u/[deleted] Jun 28 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

[deleted]

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u/SolitaireyEgg Jun 28 '22

yes that is the idea yes

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u/Silasofthewoods420 Jun 28 '22

i love this. like ok yall makin it hard for me so imma just make sure u need to get 2k in ones out for me

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u/HIITMAN69 Jun 28 '22

Was probably pretty practical when you could buy a house for $10

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u/TechnetiumAE Jun 28 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

This makes me uncontrollably mad.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the Angry Dome.

Edit: added link to the scene

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u/gorgewall Jun 28 '22

One of my favorite old games is Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. Rather than slaying the big bad guy to restore peace to the land, your quest is to meander around and do virtuous deeds until you become a messianic figure, because what the people really need is a cool religion.

One of the ways you could gain (or lose) points in your "Honesty" virtue was appropriately reimbursing or cheating the merchants who sold spellcasting reagents. For some reason, every reagent merchant was blind, so after placing your order they'd give you a total price and then... you could pay almost anything you wanted. It had to be something, but if you got an invoice for 200g, you could pay 50g and waltz right on out, not a problem in the world. Good luck becoming Fantasy Jesus that way, though.

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u/Thats_what_i_twat Jun 28 '22

Do you by any chance have as podcast? Because I would totally watch it

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u/OstentatiousSock Jun 28 '22

Is that atop the fortress of solitude?

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u/monstercello Jun 28 '22

It’s atop Planet Express, actually

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u/Panuccis_Pizza Jun 28 '22

GET BACK TO WORK!

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u/i_sell_you_lies Jun 28 '22

Bite my shiny metal ass!!!

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u/Marsbarszs Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

I’ve had a blind customer tell me to keep the change before because that happens too often to them. I just rounded up to the dollar for them

Edit: added words to make sense

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u/TheRealXen Jun 28 '22

Ugh I'm so glad we have cards these days. I can't imagine the amount of times this probably happened in human history.

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u/Wasserschloesschen Jun 28 '22

Or just use... well designed money?

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u/leintic Jun 28 '22

this post is dum because all of the new us bills do have tactile differentiation. next time you are handling money run your finder over the denomination. its raised

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u/Silasofthewoods420 Jun 28 '22

if the bill has been in circulation, this will get harder to guarantee in any way

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u/marsasagirl Jun 28 '22

Possibly but some textures on bills never seem to fade such as the ridges on the presidents shirts. Fake bills don’t have the ridges

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u/VoxImperatoris Jun 28 '22

Thats interesting. Ill be honest, I dont think Ive handled real cash since before the pandemic, and even then only rarely and in small amounts.

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u/callum2703 Jun 28 '22

What if the cashier changes the amount due on the card machine?

Shitty people always find a way to be shitty....

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u/TonyVstar Jun 28 '22

Card machine doesn't benefit the cashier, so they could do that but the money goes to the employer. Entrepreneurs would be motivated to I guess

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u/idk_lets_try_this Jun 28 '22

Pretty sure there is an audio jack somewhere where they can plug in so the machine reads the numbers and stuff to them.

Atm machines and voting machines have them.

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u/MandolinMagi Jun 28 '22

No cash register has that, and you're sure not plugging anything into my machine.

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u/One_Beat8054 Jun 28 '22

you're sure not plugging anything into my machine.

oh you naughty minx

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u/AlmightyJb Jun 28 '22

Yeah I think I’d ask for all singles if I ever went blind. Just make stops at the bank with someone I know to swap it out.

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u/gunz2828 Jun 27 '22

They probably never saw that coming

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u/ravenshadow2013 Jun 28 '22

Can confirm I'm visually impaired, but not so impaired that I can read money. Was at a corner store and dude tried to short me 13 dollars one time , was shocked to see me count my change before putting it in my wallet

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u/redditiem2 Jun 28 '22 Wholesome

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u/SolitaireyEgg Jun 28 '22

this is so much more useful than the OP

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u/crunchthenumbers01 Jun 28 '22

Yeah but wouldn't it still be better if they incorporated Braille into printing. We already have strips inserted so why not have a corner with relief bumps or dots etc.

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u/m_ttl_ng Jun 28 '22

The OP is useful to keep track of sorted money more quickly, but my blind friend just folds each bill in a different way once he's sorted it out so he doesn't have to look. And generally just pays with card anyway.

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u/CopperWaffles Jun 28 '22

This should be a post on its own for more visibility.

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u/FatSiamese Jun 28 '22

I figured this was more for a blind person to differentiate their own money while paying

Since Braille on money isnt standardized, id think a blind person wouldnt trust any braille they didnt put on themselves or at least a friend/family member

Well at least thats how id go about it if i was blind

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u/Sugarpeas Jun 28 '22

My blind neighbor folded her bills in different ways to help her know their value.

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u/Black_Eyed_PeePees Jun 28 '22

Since Braille on money isnt standardized, id think a blind person wouldnt trust any braille they didnt put on themselves or at least a friend/family member

At first i was thinking that'd be cool to buy one of these, and stamp all the bills I get, but you're right, there's shitty people out there, and if I were blind, I wouldn't just blindly trust some random brail that was put on the bills either.

Assholes ruin fucking everything.

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u/Cat_CtG Jun 27 '22

I reccomend watching "Ray" (Jamie Foxx playing Ray Charles) . Its an alright movie and includes a lot of clever blind life pro tips. "Always get paid in singles" sort of stuff.

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u/Lexx4 Jun 28 '22

cough that don’t taste like no tobacco.

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u/Weird-Vagina-Beard Jun 28 '22

Good luck getting your money all in 1's. Maybe when 1's were worth 10's.

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u/jimmayy5 Jun 28 '22

Even more Shitty is a ‘first world’ country not having brail on notes

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u/youlleatitandlikeit Jun 28 '22

In other countries they choose a much easier solution: the bills are just different sizes. The bigger the bill, the larger the denomination.

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u/Hell_in_a_bucket Jun 28 '22

It's okay, we're very quickly working to change that, at this rate we won't be a first world country by the end of the decade.

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u/amigable_satan Jun 28 '22

The US hasn't been a first world country for a while. My third world country has free healthcare AND college.

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u/idk_lets_try_this Jun 28 '22

You don’t always need braile, other identifiers like a different size according to value and a textured strip or bizarre edges on coin work too. That is why euro coins have those weird edges.

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u/Aggravating_Depth_33 Jun 28 '22

I'm not even visually impaired but I really miss being instantly able to know what Euro note I had in my hand from its size or color. With dollars I actually have to look closely.

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u/geturkt Jun 27 '22

That person will burn in hell’s 7 th floor

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u/Alxndr-NVM-ii Jun 27 '22

Seems very 8th floor to me

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u/iwillshowyoutheway Jun 27 '22

So... Nothing will happen to them

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u/Cannibaltruism Jun 27 '22

You could see it happening, but blind people can’t…

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u/awwjude Jun 28 '22 Faith In Humanity Restored

The US government actually provides free currency readers to the blind and visually impaired.

https://www.bep.gov/services/currency-accessibility/us-currency-reader-program

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u/PAXICHEN Jun 28 '22

There was an article I read a while ago…the treasury did a CBA and determined that providing free currency readers to the visually impaired was far cheaper than re jiggering the bill sizes across the entire economy. By quite a large factor.

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u/cHaOZ_ZoNE Jun 28 '22

I mean you have to replace currency anyway. Why not slowly phase in new money with accessibility features while you're at it.

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u/PAXICHEN Jun 28 '22

It was the size question. Think about all Of the machines that take bills. Cash drawers. Bill counters, etc

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u/Please_read_sidebar Jun 28 '22

Yup, this. Also, in the modern world with digital payment, this is less of a problem.

Many digital payment mechanisms have accessibility built-in.

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u/Samoman21 Jun 28 '22

Honestly. I'm most surprised that it actually comes with a AAA battery.

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u/tomsomethingorother Jun 27 '22

Seems like this should be a standard feature on bank notes.

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u/pants_party Jun 28 '22

Hijacking top comment to let people know that MOST legally blind and visually impaired people do not know how to read Braille. It is expensive and difficult to learn. In fact, fewer than 10% of the 1.3 million legally blind people in the United States read Braille, and just 10% of blind children are learning it,

Also, the US govt provides a free “currency reader” tool that scans US bank notes and audibly announces the amount. It’s available here:

https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/blindness-and-vision-impairment/devices-aids/bureau-engraving-printing-u-s-currency-reader-program/

Source: am blind!

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u/baraoche Jun 28 '22

That’s pretty neat. Would you say you use it frequently? Does using a credit card mitigate this problem?

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u/SelfRape Jun 27 '22

And Euros are all different sizes as well. And color, just in case that helps.

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u/divagante Jun 27 '22

All bills are different sizes and colors, and every coin has a different size and edge texture

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u/just-regular-I-guess Jun 27 '22

Our metal coins are all different shapes/sizes/edges. You can have a pocket full of change and feel out the coin you want.

The fact that we don't do this for bills is just a straight up fuck you to the blind community.

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u/Odd-Road Jun 28 '22

Hey!

America decides to do something, and will not change it for centuries after that, that's how it works.

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u/xigua22 Jun 28 '22

Hey that's not fair. One time we changed the constitution to ban booze.....then decided it was a bad idea so we changed it again to unban booze.

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u/Bowler_300 Jun 28 '22

Ah the ole reverse abortion decision trick.

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u/itdeffwasnotme Jun 28 '22

I think they overturned it because of how much power it gave the mob. Really interesting history stories.

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u/Blinkdawg15 Jun 28 '22

That makes sense, honestly.

A widespread commodity that can be locally produced easily getting criminalized.. Just results in forming a huge client base for the criminals.

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u/foopaints Jun 28 '22

Not just the blind community. Being a tourist in the US I ACTIVELY avoided spending money unnecessarily, not because I didn't have it, but because it was a pain in the ass figuring out the right bills, since they all kind of look the same. It's not even like you can prepare the exact amount in advance cause tax isn't included on sticker prices. Not to mention the whole tipping thing. Honestly, spending money in the US was anxiety inducing.

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u/WorldClassShart Jun 27 '22

I'm so glad they color coded the money for the blind.

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u/AjizaTsana Jun 27 '22

Not all blind are totaly blind, some can see, but only very blury.

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u/Slithy-Toves Interested Jun 27 '22

Obviously that's for the deaf. They can't hear the numbers so they use colour

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u/PuppetryOfThePenis Jun 27 '22

You have to lick it. If it tastes like green, then you're good. If it tastes like purple, it's counterfeit.

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u/Slithy-Toves Interested Jun 27 '22

I'm from Canada so we have blue, purple, green, red and brown monies. We might as well use skittles at this point

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u/hopelesscaribou Jun 27 '22

We also have tactile dots on them for the visually impaired.

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u/iAmUnintelligible Jun 27 '22

And we have the Canadarm2 on the $5 bill, pretty irrelevant but I just wanted to say it because it's badass

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u/WorldClassShart Jun 27 '22

But what if it smells like white, tastes like yellow, and is chrome in color?

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u/PuppetryOfThePenis Jun 27 '22

Dial 666999 on your phone. Set it on the floor. Put your nose in the nearest corner, and wait. They will be there for you shortly.

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u/Kent_o0 Jun 27 '22

It is in many other countries, it's unfortunate it's not really the case with the US

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u/edlee98765 Jun 27 '22

I know they make the bills different sizes for the Euro for this reason.

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u/hitmyspot Jun 27 '22

They also have little raised lines that you can feel and count.

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u/lllDUNN Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

I've lived in the US all my life and still can't give you a good explanation about why we are so fucking stupid.

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u/Grays42 Jun 27 '22 Helpful All-Seeing Upvote I'd Like to Thank...

Religion.

No, seriously, we are by far the most religious developed nation and by far the worst developed nation on topics that depend on people making reasonable decisions.

People are trained from toddlers to believe whatever someone else tells them to on faith, to disbelieve objective facts, and to attribute good and bad outcomes to a deity rather than to circumstance or rational decision-making. It's religion that makes Americans stupid.

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u/[deleted] Jun 27 '22

[deleted]

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u/SeaGroomer Jun 28 '22

"God gave us this huge empty continent with no one on it, we must be blessed!"

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u/yanaka-otoko Jun 28 '22

Idk tho cos Australia/New Zealand/Canada are also way less religious than the US.

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u/Competitive_Ninja847 Jun 28 '22

Because of the way they were founded.

In the South religion was used as an excuse to enslave Blacks, they are still more religious today than Whites as a result. In the North religion was the reason they came. And our immigrants are predominantly Hispanic, who are more religious than American Blacks or Whites.

AusCanNz didn't import slaves and weren't settled for religious reasons. Plus their immigrants are predominantly Asian who are the least religious people in the world.

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u/TKT_Calarin Jun 28 '22

Civil war rocked the country pretty hard, and there was a brief period right after the war where the country could have done so much during reconstruction (if it weren't for Lincoln's assassination). Unfortunately that did not happen... And the results in a manner paved the way for racism and Jim Crow laws. It's not so cut and dry.... But Lincoln could have and would have done many things - because he was Lincoln. I really do believe that Grant wished to do more than he was able, but he wasn't Lincoln.

It's one of the biggest what ifs of American history...

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u/Cerpin-Taxt Jun 28 '22

That's old fashioned war though. Dudes were still marching at each other in lines in fields.

WW1/2 were hell on earth in a way that no one had ever imagined possible. During the civil war people were still thanking god for the outcome of battles, after world war 1 the resounding sentiment was "If this can happen, there is no god, and if there is he's malevolent and sadistic".

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u/s33ek Jun 28 '22

You’d think that seeing planes crash on 9/11 would make you say there’s no god. You’d think that seeing 21 children murdered at school would make you say there’s no god.

But it’s all part of gods plan!

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u/[deleted] Jun 28 '22

Well I think that bubble will pop sooner or later

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u/OhBarnacles123 Jun 28 '22

Right, because the secret 11th commandment is "thou shall not make thy bills of different sizes or including braille"

I think it's much more likely that it's just "they've always been green and the same size, so they'll always be green and the same size". Not to mention the number of vending machines, coin dispensers, etc. that would need to be retrofitted or replaced.

Edit: not to mention that the government provides free currency readers to the legally blind. It's a stupid solution but it's still a solution.

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u/synthead Jun 28 '22

While on the topic, even the US's money is religious. Seriously. It has ”in god we trust” written on it.

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u/Boddhisatvaa Interested Jun 28 '22

Only since 1955. The phrase was on most coins starting during the Civil War, but not on paper money until 1955. This was the same time they added "Under God" to the pledge of allegiance.

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u/crossingpins Jun 28 '22

That's only 18 years before Roe V Wade so I guess Clarence Thomas would be cool with removing it from our money cuz it hasn't been a part of America history for a very long time

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u/SteelCrow Jun 28 '22

Anti-commie measures

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u/HotF22InUrArea Jun 28 '22

And how does religion mean we shouldn’t make money différentiable to blind people?

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u/MoKnees Jun 27 '22

Simple answer is greed

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u/zerton Interested Jun 27 '22

Idk why the US is so bad about this. The US is actually really good when it comes to other accessibility issues like ADA requirements for architecture and streetscape.

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u/[deleted] Jun 27 '22

[deleted]

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u/NotVerySmarts Jun 27 '22

Or fecal matter from stripper's b-holes.

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u/HeatProfessional4473 Jun 27 '22

It is in Canada.

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u/cardew-vascular Jun 28 '22

Canada actually uses its own tactile feature, designed by and admin at the Canadian National Institure for the Blind and a psycology prof from Queens.

Although similar in appearance to braille, it differs because standard Braille was deemed too sensitive. The currency denomination must be recognized easily, thus the banknotes use full braille blocks (or cells) of 6 dots, ⟨⠿⟩. The $5 bill has one cell, with the $10, $20, and $50 denominations each having one more cell than previous. The $100 bill has two cells arranged such that there is a space of two empty cells between them: ⟨⠿⠀⠀⠿⟩.

This marking has been on Canadian bills for the past 20 years. Even those who cannot read Braille can differentiate the markings easily.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_currency_tactile_feature#:~:text=The%20currency%20denomination%20must%20be,one%20more%20cell%20than%20previous.

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u/monsieurpommefrites Jun 28 '22

Yeah, I was confused about this.

I was like...money already is...

Oh wait, wrong country.

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u/grandiose_regulator2 Jun 27 '22

How do blind know what type of bill it is without the tool

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u/BaneAmesta Jun 27 '22

Guess the only way for blind people is to ask for help to use this

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u/JustSikh Jun 27 '22

The tool seems to be to mark the bills with a braille indentation so that you can tell which bill is which.

You don’t need to the tool to figure the denomination once it has been marked by the tool.

In theory this is a good idea but you need to mark every single bill that is currently in circulation for it to be effective.

The better option would be to mark them at the source. I.e. the treasury.

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u/Paracortex Jun 28 '22

You can actually feel the special printing on US bills. Certain parts are printed with raised ink that has texture. You can discern a bill’s denomination by this texture alone, it you are so inclined.

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u/MisterEChops Jun 28 '22

Here in Australia, it is.

Every note has raised sections, and each note is a different size

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u/robkitsune Jun 27 '22

It is in the UK

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u/TheSeansei Jun 27 '22

It is in so much of the world. Just not that third world country between Canada and Mexico the US.

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u/2_Fives Jun 28 '22

This just reminded me of that movie Ray, where Jamie Fox plays Ray Charles.

In the movie it shows how entertainment clubs would take advantage of Ray by giving him less money than he earned, all because he was blind.

This needs to be standard issue.

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u/zelosxt Jun 28 '22

And then there was that one white guy telling on the guy who shorted him. Love that film.

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u/TheWhistler5000 Jun 28 '22

Fun fact, it doesn’t work that well as the paper is so thin it quickly flattens. Most blindies actually fold their money differently to differentiate the bill amounts.

Insert personal information here that would identify myself to others proving my knowledge.

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u/trusteebill Jun 28 '22

Can confirm. Used to help my blind friend with bill folding. And voting. Thankfully voting machines are accessible in our state now.

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u/_-blitz-_ Jun 28 '22

The Australian currency incorporates a ‘tactile feature’ in each bank note to assist vision impaired people to identify the different denominations… (it is not braille though)

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u/PunkandCannonballer Jun 27 '22

Not only is the US behind in that it lacks tactile bills, but most other countries also have bills of different sizes, so it's easy to differentiate between bills.

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u/ohno_spaghetti_o Jun 28 '22

And colours. There is a saying in NZ about how 'everyone enjoys their bank account in summer but I prefer it in autumn' $20 are green $100 dollars are red. It is about delayed gratification. Makes it easy to find and distinguish.

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u/cardew-vascular Jun 28 '22

As a Canadian, Australian money really messed with me for a bit. The colours were wrong and I kept getting out the wrong bills. $10s are blue instead of $5s, $100s were green instead of $20s, $20s were red instead of $50s it was like that test where you look at a colour but have to read a different colour out loud. Took some getting used to.

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u/ohno_spaghetti_o Jun 28 '22

Everytime I see Aus money I growl to myself. Why is the $2 coin smaller than the $1?!?

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u/cardew-vascular Jun 28 '22

God yes? WHY?!

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u/frunt Jun 28 '22

Just back from a trip to the US. Your cash is terrible. As is the amount to which you rely on it rather than cards. And the fact that even when you take cards, you do it in a really backwards way. For a country so obsessed with money you sure do suck at taking payments.

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u/BertUK Jun 28 '22

You mean you don’t want the waitress to walk away with your card and then bring back a receipt for you to sign, instead of just tapping your watch/phone/card on a wireless terminal at the table? Do you think we’re living in the future or something!?

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u/ParticularWindow1 Jun 28 '22

In Canada we just put it on the bill from the mint

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u/WHYsoICY Jun 27 '22

Wait why hasn't this been implemented yet?

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u/NYSenseOfHumor Jun 28 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

The U.S. government provides free currency readers to all eligible blind and visually impaired U.S. citizens and national residents.

The device the government provides is called the iBill, and if a person does not qualify for a free government one, private groups can help or it can be purchased for about $140 from a variety of online retailers.

As for why the braille has not been implemented, it wears out. Books printed in braille are on much thicker paper than ordinary paper and those are just books that sit. Money is circulated and used in transactions. Over time, the braille marks will wear out making the bills harder to distinguish. If bills were printed with the braille, it could be on a special plastic card portion of the bill, but implementing that would mean retooling the engraving and printing process, cost taxpayers a lot of money, and the government already has a solution of providing devices to people who request them.

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u/NoPossibility Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

Fewer than 10% of blind people in the united states can read using braille. Roughly 130,000 people out of 320+ million, or .04% of the population at large would use the feature. It’s just not that good of a solution unfortunately.

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u/HaiKarate Jun 27 '22

A blind person wouldn't have to be completely literate in Braille, they just have to recognize 5 different symbols.

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u/s33ek Jun 28 '22

And I think this is what we do in Canada. We don’t even use the official braille numbers.

Edit: yup that’s how we do it.

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u/FrostyWhiskers Jun 27 '22

They should just redesign the dollar and make the different bills different sizes. Even as someone who can see, it's so inconvenient how similar all dollar bills are.

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u/GetBombed Jun 27 '22

I’d hate to have different sized bills, the blue strip on the newer $100 bill can double as extra security and a way to differentiate bills. They just need to add strips to the other bills in different spots.

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u/zerton Interested Jun 27 '22

That's a great idea.

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u/WanderingMinotaur Jun 27 '22

It's not that bad, in Australia our bills are different sizes. At most there's a couple of mm difference (0.03 inch - 0.07 inch) between the notes. There's a more noticeable difference between a $5 note and a $100 note, but going from say a $5 to a $10 or $20 isn't much different, but just different enough that blind, visually impaired, or colorblind can tell the difference.

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u/Justeff83 Jun 27 '22

You don't need braille. It's just size and texture

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u/Cereborn Jun 27 '22

You can still introduce tactile differentiation without it being official braille. In Canada, the bills just have sets of six dots, and it adds another set when you go up a denomination. $5 has one set of six dots, $10 has two, $20 has three, etc.

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u/NoPossibility Jun 28 '22

Yeah, that’s a good way to handle it if you’re going to go the tactile route. Braille is more complicated and I can see that being a barrier versus the simpler counting sets of raised areas like you’re describing.

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u/youy23 Jun 27 '22

If i’m not mistaken, most blind people aren’t totally blind either. Either way, this hardly constitutes learning an entirely new language. I could learn the different punches in 5 minutes from this video.

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u/MrSparr0w Jun 27 '22

They don't need to know complete braille, just the few numbers would be enough and it's not very expensive and easy to implement.

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u/5them3 Jun 27 '22

Canada has a solution to this

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u/indigogibni Jun 27 '22

We’re getting close to a cashless society. If you really needed to, you could abandon cash all together. A phone and a debit card would be all you needed.

I wonder about the ability of some people to alter the braille, to take advantage of those that would rely on this.

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u/Ven_ae Jun 28 '22

The UK banknotes only recently added tactile features, when each of the new polymer banknotes were introduced.

What's funky though is that £5 banknote (lowest denomination banknote) does not have any tactile features, but since the other new notes do this absence indicates that it's a £5 note.

What's funkier is that the tactile features are raised clusters of 4 bumps, which spells 'g' in braille. The £10 banknote says 'gg'.

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u/twitch1982 Jun 28 '22

Can someone tell me what they plan to do with cents sign? I dont think this is gonna work on coins.

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u/FoldyHole Interested Jun 28 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

It stands for C Note which means $100 bill.

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u/Rolyat28 Jun 28 '22

Me once never realizing the blind having trouble figuring out the amount of paper money

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u/So_Motarded Jun 28 '22

It's why many have switched to digital or card pay options. Way easier to keep track of finances, and ensure you weren't overcharged.

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u/cam4king Jun 27 '22

The coins are all different sizes and thicknesses. Seems like that would be easier to identify.

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u/jcdoe Jun 28 '22

They’re also harder to mark with a plastic braille puncher

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u/ChosenMate Jun 27 '22

Literally never seen that before. It's not a thing on euros but you can tell by other factors I think

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u/pookshuman Jun 27 '22

ok, but you can add any number you want to a $1 bill

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u/yurkish Jun 27 '22

In USSR banknotes were of different size, so my blind grandfather could tell the denomination of a banknote he's holding.

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u/existingwhileIcan Jun 28 '22

Pretty sure Canada has this already

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u/He-n-ry Jun 28 '22

Australian notes have braille already built into them, cough cough 😏

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u/Throwdaway543210 Jun 27 '22

There is concern that it will wear out and be incomplete. And only 1 in 10 people learn Braille these days. They use phone apps to identify money.

[Source]

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u/Pixel-Lick Jun 27 '22

“Hey buddy got change for a 20?”

On a more serious note Australia bank notes have braille implemented.

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u/MrMikesGunrack Jun 27 '22

Blind guy is going to think he has a 20 when its a 1

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u/snwbrdngtr Jun 27 '22

I had a blind client at a job I worked, he folded each denomination a different way in his wallet so he knew which was which. It was a great system as long as the bank where he got the bills was honest…

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u/Emotional-Dinner9478 Jun 27 '22

Used honestly by 99% of the population . Used maliciously by the 1% who are busy typing $1 in braille on$100 bills 💵 😂👍

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u/Oblivions_gate Jun 28 '22

Holy shit why don’t we just do this as a standard here?

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u/maddisrespect9 Jun 28 '22

Use Apple Pay

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u/M0th0 Jun 28 '22 Eureka!

I feel like with all the OTHER shit we do for bills to protect against counterfeit and shit, the least we could do is add braille to the fuckers. I mean there's like 30 billion different ways to tell if a bill is counterfeit, but not one single way for a blind person to tell a 100 from a 1.

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u/Wolffraven Jun 28 '22

Back in the 70s and 80s blind people could identify money based on how it felt. Apparently, Accor to an ex-girlfriend of mine that was blind, each bills weave was different and if you knew what you were looking for you could feel which bill you had

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u/Severe_Airport1426 Jun 28 '22

Why aren't they just printed with Braille? Australian money is vision impaired friendly

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u/Lukaar Jun 28 '22

Crazy that USA doesn’t have updated currency. Canada has had this on our bills for years by default.

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u/SlightAmoeba6716 Jun 27 '22

In the Netherlands this would probably count as deliberate damage to government property. (The government owns the physical object.

Fortunately our Euro currency I see more advanced than the US 'copy paper' and has symbols the visually impaired can feel. This was already the case long before the introduction of the Euro, during the gulden age.

Should be a worldwide standard to consider the visually impaired!

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u/summonsays Jun 28 '22

It's illegal here also to damage money. However I've never heard of anyone actually getting in trouble over it.

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u/ChaosEsper Jun 28 '22

It's only illegal to deface US currency if done with the intent to defraud or effect of making it unusable.

The only case I know of where someone actually got in trouble was a strip club in Portland that used to stain their $2 bills with red ink as a marketing gimmick. Once businesses in the area stopped accepting them (they were weirded out by the bills looking like they had blood on them) the Feds stepped in to confiscate and destroy the tainted bills and the club was forced to stop.

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u/summonsays Jun 28 '22

Ha, "tainted" bills, sorry inner 12 year old.

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u/FIRST_PENCIL Jun 27 '22

American currency is a complex textile not paper.

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u/hitmyspot Jun 27 '22

I thought it was cotton? Is that complex just because of how it's woven?

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u/FlowSoSlow Jun 27 '22

It's a blend of different fibers to help prevent counterfeiting.

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u/FIRST_PENCIL Jun 27 '22

The exact composition is obviously a secret but it’s mostly Cotten and linen.

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