Tuesday, May 20, 2008

U.S. Money Discriminates Against Blind People

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. discriminates against blind people by printing paper money that makes it impossible for them to distinguish among the bills' varying values, a federal appeals court ruled today (Tuesday).

22 Comments:

At 5/20/2008 2:04 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

OK, screw it. Fuck engineering I need to become a lawyer. I am finding myself a blind person and suing the movie theater for discriminating.

 
At 5/20/2008 2:32 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

If we had stayed with gold coins this problem wouldn't exist. The size and weight would directly correspond to the value of the coin.

Of course, the weight and feel of our current money also conveys its true value; It's just paper. The blind see that more clearly than the rest of us.

 
At 5/20/2008 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Don Surber, more or less said, the judges who issued this ruling have a braille version of it availble, too. Didn't they? They are not hypocrites are they?

 
At 5/20/2008 2:51 PM, Blogger Executive Slacker said...

I can't believe Fred seems to be advocating the gold standard. You need to learn about monetary policy somewhat.

I'm more than a little shocked that people care so much. This is a foolish thing to be upset by. I realize it's tradition and all, but making a minor change to assist a population of disabled people doesn't seem that out of line.

 
At 5/20/2008 3:08 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

How do other countries handle currency and vision impaired individuals? Maybe we need to think globally to creatively solve some of our problems instead of being isolationists.

Trade does not have to be the only global issue. With an aging baby-boomer population, these problems will get worse before they get better. We might as well deal with them now instead of later.

 
At 5/20/2008 3:11 PM, Blogger matt said...

So Fred says the solution to this is switching to the gold standard, and Walt advocates switching to the euro.

In other news our government wastes time on meaningless issues, and I'm putting my tinfoil hat back on.

 
At 5/20/2008 3:11 PM, Blogger Nathan Benefield said...

Executive Slacker:

It isn't just a "minor change", but will have a dramatic impact. For instance, every single vending machine in America will have to be replaced or updated to accept the new bills.

 
At 5/20/2008 3:13 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

matt,

It's only a meaningless issue if you can see.

 
At 5/20/2008 3:15 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Nathan,

Didn't they just do that for the redesigned bills? It seems it depends on who wants it done.

 
At 5/20/2008 3:30 PM, Blogger matt said...

walt,

I was commenting on the irony of further running from the dollar into other currencies/standards, this time driven by lawyers.

I don't mean to be insensitive in saying meaningless, its just that the conspiracy theorist in me questions why this issue now. Preparing the populace for a new currency and all that.

 
At 5/20/2008 5:37 PM, Anonymous The Masked Millionaire said...

There really is no end game to all of this "liberal think."

I don't know how anyone can sleep at night when there are blind people who can't "read" their sleep number because it isn't imprinted in braille.

I'm pretty sure that blind people would be better served with a better education, that afforded them more opportunity out in the "real" world, then they will be with braille money.

Live From Las Vegas
The Masked Millionaire

 
At 5/20/2008 5:39 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"With an aging baby-boomer population, these problems will get worse before they get better. We might as well deal with them now instead of later"...

Are YOU willing to pay for it walt g?

"It's only a meaningless issue if you can see"...

No walt g, its only meaningless if YOU and others that think as you do actually pay for it...

 
At 5/20/2008 10:34 PM, Blogger randian said...

Disabled advocates have been repeatedly suing on this issue for years. And no, the ADA doesn't care about the cost to remedy the "problem". What's next, suing book publishers because they don't publish all their books in Braille? How about suing artists whose work can't be seen by the blind? How about suing every business whose manuals and marketing materials aren't in Braille?

 
At 5/20/2008 11:14 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

Nobody said anything about a gold standard. I simply noted a physical reality of a gold coin versus the unreality of various numbers printed on indistinguishable piece of paper.

The Pavlovian response to any mention of gold is fascinating. Gold really does send your knees jerking, jerking, jerking. Why?

 
At 5/21/2008 5:58 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

juandos,

You're assuming without any evidence that printing money that blind people can tell different denominations costs more than the method of printing money we currently use. How do you know that?

I am simply stating that to a blind person being able to tell how much money they are handing to someone else is very important to their independence. If they are independent, they possibly will not others to manage their lives.

Would you rather pay for that help, or pay for ways to alleviate some of the issues constraining people with disabilities. Current demographic projections suggest that problems like these will grow with an aging population. Do you want to ignore the problems or try to solve them? Remember: This could be you in the future

 
At 5/21/2008 8:01 AM, Anonymous Is said...

People still use cash?

 
At 5/21/2008 9:05 AM, Anonymous Fred said...

Modern electronics being what it is, we could see a talking hand held scanner that could call out the denomination of a bill. It would be about the size of a domino.

 
At 5/21/2008 10:37 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Fred,

That's the type of innovative thinking that solves problems!

 
At 5/21/2008 2:52 PM, Blogger Executive Slacker said...

As Nathan said,

"... every single vending machine in America will have to be replaced or updated to accept the new bills"

Although, I can't recall the last time I put a $5 or $10 into a vending machine. Vending machines will all take credit cards soon enough. I've seen plenty that already do at tradeshow venues where they rob you of $3 for a soda.

The real point here is that we really don't even need hard currency anymore.

 
At 5/21/2008 4:18 PM, Blogger juandos said...

walt g. says: "You're assuming without any evidence that printing money that blind people can tell different denominations costs more than the method of printing money we currently use. How do you know that?"...

Well walt g. old son, Nathan Benefield answered the question even before I tackled it and I thought you may have considered it: "It isn't just a "minor change", but will have a dramatic impact. For instance, every single vending machine in America will have to be replaced or updated to accept the new bills"...

When the redesigned bills (singles and fives especially) came out I know of business people who are into vending machines and on average here in the St. Louis area, each machine cost the vendor in the neighborhood of $400 on average to get the machine changed over and the people to change them over...

Are YOU willing to cover that cost?

Are the blind people willing to fork over the money to cover costs of upgrades?

Don't get me wrong here walt g., as long as YOU and the blind people are willing to cover the costs associated with a money change over then I'm all for it...

The executive slacker says: "The real point here is that we really don't even need hard currency anymore"...

Well ES in an honest world where identity theft wasn't rampant I would agree with you...

After watching a few folks go through the grief and expense of recovering their identity and their credit reputation I've come to reappreciate that old, 'cash & carry' routine...

 
At 5/21/2008 5:59 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Juandos,

You seem to be implying that you can avoid paying for people who can't take care of themselves. That does not happen in the real world. For evidence, let's see a thorough cost benefit analysis between people who can live independently and those who need assistance. I’m not sure that I want to base my belief on someone who changes prices on pop machines. Let’s delve a little deeper than that.

There are 76 million or so baby boomers coming at you with all of their aging problems: This is just the beginning of how we are going to deal with that stark reality.

Cheers! Here’s hoping we both age well and can take care of ourselves emotionally, physically, and financially until we peacefully die.

 
At 2/18/2011 8:41 AM, OpenID 1trueearthmama said...

First of all this is frivilous. Yes, would it be nice if money was Brailled? Sure, but it is not worth the cost. There are so many other things those millions and millions, no, billions of dollars could be doing to help blind people, to help all disabled people and to help all Americans. Braille dots would wear down quickly, changing the size of bills would be extremely costly, machines from ATMs to vending machines would have to be changed at a needless cost. No, not all publishers need to produce their books in Braille, but they should allow volinteer Braillests to put them into Braille and they should provide to blind individuals digital text files of the books, which would not be costly or time consuming. And yes, all businesses should have accessable electronic files for any and all literature available, allowing a blind or low vision individual to scan it and translate it into Braille then emboss it, print it in large print or read it with screne reading software, but it certainly wouldn't be fair to require them to provide everything in Braille. If a blind person can't stick one of their paper bills into a slate and use a styalis to Braille it, or can't roll it into a Braille writer, or can't identify the bill with a sighted reader or a talking money identifier and then fold it in such a way or sort it into pockets in their wallet in such a way as to know what the bills are, then laziness or mental retardation is their problem, not blindness. If I had to draft a top ten things that would make the lives of blind people better list,, this wouldn't make it, not even close, and it would make a list of the top ten worst uses of money in an attempt to help blind Americans. Access rights for guide dogs, a quiet device on electric and hibread cars to keep them from being entirely silent, etc are a good use of money, changing over our entire system of currancy? That is a huge waste and really selfish on the part of blind people choosing to lobby for this with their time, money and energies. Give me a break. And, yes, I am blind, so don't go off on me for being insensative. If anyone has the right to call this frivilous, it's me.

 

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