Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I think this would be a great thing to not do.

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blind friendly currency

make it tactile
  (+7, -6)
(+7, -6)
  [vote for,

You may have read that here in the US a group is suing because they can't (without sight) tell the various currency denominations apart. I have a simple solution that will save us taxpayers money in lawsuits and retooling of equipment. In all big face currency here there is a plastic strip embedded top to bottom about a third of the way across the bill ....pause while you look...I propose they make these thick enough to feel and put them in a different spot for each bill.
pydor, Dec 19 2006

Money Odour Money_20Odour
Not the way I would spell odor, but, no matter. (I often insert a "u" if I think it looks better and seems to be an acceptable spelling somewhere in English, but I draw the line at odour.) [Zimmy, Dec 19 2006]

They won their case http://www.guardian...ld/2008/may/20/usa1
[imaginality, May 20 2008]

NFB denounces decision http://www.business...0006579&newsLang=en
That's the National Federation of the Blind [nomocrow, May 20 2008]

An example http://en.wikipedia.../New_Zealand_Dollar
Changes to NZ coins and notes - you just change, and get on with it. [neutrinos_shadow, May 21 2008]


       Rings a bell. Either I have seen this on the HB before or its being done.
MoreCowbell, Dec 19 2006

       I did do a check and found nothing anyone find or remember? There are other bill marking ideas this uses something they are already putting in the bills making it easier and cheaper to do. If it's being done its not in the US. The lawsuit would make no sense otherwise.
pydor, Dec 19 2006

       I cannot believe it. In the Netherlands we have had money that can be identified by touch alone (both coins and bills) since the sixties at least. The euro can also be identified by touch alone.   

       So yes, good idea.   

       The guilders notes had a number of rough spots on them. Coins had and have different stripe marks along the side in addition to being of a different size. Euro notes are just different sizes.
zeno, Dec 19 2006

       What had been done on the halfbakery before was currency with smell. (scratch n' sniff?) It was pretty fun to read, I'll see if I can find a link.
I think the most likely outcome will be to make the sizes different, though your idea, [pydor], allows for the bills to be made without re-tooling machinery excessively, I think.
Zimmy, Dec 19 2006

       Ray Charles had people fold it for him so he would know, but there'r problems with that too.
Zimmy, Dec 19 2006

       Most currencies are designed to be able to be used by blind and partially-sighted people. [zeno] mentioned Euros. In the UK too banknotes have features which allow the notes to be distinguished by touch, and they're different sizes as well. It's just the Dollar that's backwards in this respect.
hippo, Dec 19 2006

       How about currency that talks, just like on Futurama! >.<
emjay, Dec 19 2006

       "Money Doesn't talk, It swears" Dylan.
Zimmy, Dec 19 2006

       Might jam vending machines. Vending machine companies have more money than blind people. Not going to happen with our current adminstration.
Galbinus_Caeli, Dec 19 2006

       Vending machines in the UK and Europe accept notes. I'm afraid it's time the US ditched the green in it's current form - won't be long before someone sues the US treasury for disability discrimination with respect to their banknotes.
jonthegeologist, Dec 19 2006

       Amiable currency with no eyes? What's the point in that?
theleopard, Dec 19 2006

       Jon, there is someone suing the US government about this. I think it was just thrown out of court as too much of an "economic burden" on vending machine companies.
Galbinus_Caeli, Dec 19 2006

       Previous posters are right, all other currencies' notes apart from the US Dollar, almost without exception are:   

       Different coloured for different denominations   

       Different sized for different denominations   

       Have features for blind or partially-sighted individuals to use the notes with comparitive ease.
webfishrune, Dec 19 2006

       Yeah and all those other countries use that new fangled "metric" system too.
Galbinus_Caeli, Dec 19 2006

       [galbinus] I work for a company that has lots of vending machines. The point I'm making is that vending machine coin/note receivers are already geared up to receive such notes so that's really not a realistic excuse for not changing.   

       And surely such features, when added to a banknote, would make them less susceptible to fraud than more?   

       It's just US Treasury/Government incalcitrance, nothing more.
jonthegeologist, Dec 19 2006

       I used to work for a company that made cash counters and the guts of ATM's and for us, currentcy changes were just a software change.
oneoffdave, Dec 19 2006

       The US does seem to struggle with many ideas that are obvious and logical to other governments. What [webfishrune] said.
Texticle, Dec 19 2006

       //One problem is what to do with all the currency already in circulation. I imagine this'll confuse the blind, especially when presented with a regular fiver and a new blind-friendly fiver.//   

       The confusion is slightly less than not knowing if they've been handed a blind-unfriendly fiver instead of the blind-unfriendly fifty they were expecting. My partner is visually impaired and even in the UK with our distinguishable currency, some shop staff have tried to short change her.
oneoffdave, Dec 20 2006

       I just took $20 bill and a razor knife, and made blind-friendly currency. I cut a notch in one short edge of the bill, and could tell it was there with my eyes shut.   

       A notch or hole puncher could easily be made, and a system worked out for a common code. Obviously, a low-value bill will have more notches than a high-value bill, to keep fakers from adding an extra notch or to.   

       The notches also would assist people with poor sight, who could hold the bill up to the light and look at the edge.   

       Anybody who wanted to make blind-friendly currency could get a notcher and punch all their bills. Never mind waiting for the government.   

       Fresh, crisp bills would work best for a notch system, of course.
baconbrain, Dec 20 2006

       The lawsuit in the US is ongoing. The judge gave an amount of time for a solution. US currency is somewhat of a world standard and it is thought changes in the size look or feel will undermine that privileged position. This is why my solution is a good one from the US position. I personally believe the damage has already been done by the stupidity and greed of those in office. The country is being run like a large corporation squeeze all the profit to the top executives then before it dives they abandon ship with the profits.
pydor, Dec 21 2006

       "somewhat of a world standard" pah ! except for the 5.5bn people who don't use the dollar.
neilp, Dec 21 2006

       // think his/her point is that the dollar is accepted in almost any country. When I went to Okinawa, dollars were accepted at every place I shopped at. Yeah, they ripped me off every time, but they gladly took my money.//
The dollar is widely accepted in areas of countries that have a significant amount of tourist trade with the west and in countries who have, by whatever means, pegged their currency to the dollar. Try to flex dollar bills in non-Okinawan Japan and they will chop off your face. And when I say chop of your face I mean, of course, politely refuse to accept your profferred currency, suggesting instead that you use Yen, like the rest of the country. Try to flex it in Europe and you will string you up by the genitals above a pit of angry carnivore geese. And when I say that, I mean that the simple shopkeeper will flat out refuse to accept your weirdo currency and suggest you go fuck yourself, in whatever language they feel most appropriate. This, of course, demonstrates two things. First, that the dollar is not accepted in almost any country* and that Europeans can learn a lot about customer service from the Japanese.

       * Yes, you will be able to shop with dollars in limited circumstances, such as in airports (and very occasionally in large chain shops in areas with many tourists) but to suggest that it is possible to swan in to any country and start waving about dollar bills, with a legitimate expectation that they will be accepted is really quite misguided.
calum, Dec 21 2006

       //I think his/her point is that the dollar is accepted in almost any country.//   

       What [calum] said. It definitely is *not* accepted anywhere in europe. In fact in the main it is only accepted in areas that have huge American (*not* western, us Europeans are Western too you know) tourism compared to any other country or those countries where the USA has a stranglehold over their economy, which is just downright wrong.   

       Here in the UK i should imagine the vast majority of shopkeepers would be offended if offered dollars by someone who couldn't be bothered to change their currency to Sterling and even more offended at the attitude that a person would even expect to be able to spend anything other than the local currency in a foreign country. The answer you got would most likely contain "fuck off" and "bloody yanks" in the same sentence.   

       The only other currency that is accepted at a *very* limited number of large shops in the UK is the Euro. At other shops you would probably get the "bloody <insert english slang for your nationality>".   

       So, to misquote the old saying:   

       "when in rome, spend Euros" (sic)
webfishrune, Dec 21 2006

       What I meant is many currencies are pegged to the dollar. I think this is because oil is traded in dollars, although Venezuela and a couple of other countries are trying to change this. By the way I'm just explaining why the US doesn't want to change the general appearance of its bills I'm not saying those making the decisions are correct. On a separate note I've been in Europe pre-euro and post-euro. Dollars spend in most stores but in pre euro it was often better to have dollars now you want euro or you pay a premium. I go off the tourist track so this even goes for many smaller towns. I liked the euro but hated Australian polly money it was too slippery.
pydor, Dec 22 2006

       //many currencies are pegged to the dollar//
This is true, you probably threw people off by talking about the physical properties of the money though. Much international commerce uses the American dollar but this level of trading is generally done on bank computers. The appearance of the notes themselves is unlikely to be of any interest to anyone outside the US.
stilgar, Dec 22 2006

       Trade in your hours for a handful of dimes
gonna make it, baby, in our Prime.
Zimmy, Dec 22 2006

       21, my point was that while you may be correct in stating US dollars are accepted in almost every country in the world, in so stating you neglected to include the crucial caveat that US dollars are accepted in only a very limited number of places and, even then, in a still further limited number of situations. My subsequent point about the wrongheadedness of those who would expect that dollars would be accepted in the wider economies of non-US states was not directed particularly at you, though it did indirectly refer to your Okinawan exploits. As ever, no offence was intended and, if some was caused, I apologise.   

       Finally, if I must admit that I read webfishrune's comment regarding the US-stranglehold as not applying to Okinawa, but rather applying to the US's neighbours in Central America &c.
calum, Dec 22 2006

       Oh please, this is getting too polite. Let me just tell you something, (which is the phrase americans use just before they go off), if ever you ask me for a beer and offer to pay with dollars I will kick you out. I will however offer you a choice: I kick you out in a way that is nice for you, or in way that is nice for me.
zeno, Dec 23 2006

       Being a halfbaker you cannot be very bad [21 Quest]. But on the whole I strongly dislike the way americans present themselves. They are a bunch of loudmouthed inconsiderate basterds. Not you, because you are a halfbaker and you seem very polite and concerned how you come across.   

       In the past I have had to deal with americans that could not believe I would not accept their foreign money. On multiple occasions they clearly expressed their view that I should accept it because the dollar is the world standard and better then any other currency, especially better then what was then our "smalltime" guilder.   

       Luckily I have also met some pretty decent americans. Sadly though, americans have a pretty bad image around the world. This is something they don't realise. The whole dollar supremacy thing doesn't help.   

       I wonder why the oil trading folk in the "east" haven't started to ask euro's instead of dollars. It would piss the americans off.   

       This whole money thing is getting pretty political now and I wil refrain from further comment because it is bad for my hart and my wife won't alow me to go off in a tantrum, or make bets.   

       I'm getting off topic right? sorry..
zeno, Dec 25 2006

       // They are a bunch of loudmouthed inconsiderate basterds.   

       This is one of the saddest things for me: The knowledge that, when I travel ouside the US (I've not yet had the chance, save Quebec, but I hope to; I feel claustrophobic cooped up in one country) it'll be assumed that I must be obnoxious, ignorant, and provincial. I'll overcome that stereotype of course, but it still bothers me.   

       It seems that the assumption that Americans are necessarily obnoxious loudmouths ranks up there with the ones that black men are thugs, that East-Asian women are submissive, and that middle-eastern men look forward to blowing themselves up and receivinng a harem of virgins. Yet the complaints about Americans, somehow, are both more fashionable and more acceptable.   

       Unfortunately, there's a reason for that: There _are_ a lot of obnoxious Americans. That fact almost makes me sadder. If the stereotypes were completely baseless, I could just write them off as prejudice. Yet, though there's still a degree of bigotry in the complaints, they _are_ motivated by reality.   

       We have an idiot president. After the first election, I could still tell my friends from overseas, "He didn't win the popular vote! It was a technicality -- and probably stolen even at that," but after the second, when he did win the popular vote, there wasn't much I could say. Clearly, the U.S. has its share of fools. The simple fact that a majority of Americans were initially duped into another Iraq war is too much more evidence of this.   

       So, 21_Quest and zeno: Yours is a discussion I've heard too many times before.   

       Returning belatedly to topic: That American currency is not blind-friendly is ridiculous. I understand that the cost of retooling things could be high, so I wouldn't recommend it immediately -- what with our massive deficit -- but at the time of the next currency rehaul, this needs to be on the list of changes.   

       The U.S. needs to start learning from other countries, and pronto. Our network infrastructure is Stone-Age next to South Korea's, for one.   


       Good idea, pydor.
TerranFury, Dec 25 2006

       The costs are not that high. Sure, there are lots of US banknotes in circulation, but because they are paper, they have a limited shelflife and are recycled regularly.   

       The cost would be in the retooling to create the new blind-friendly notes but even then, if the US wanted to, they could look to Europe, Australia and others for assistance.   

       If you're redesigning the note to put a new famous face on it (which occasionally happens), why not go the whole hog.   

       Trust me, the rest of the world won't be confused, we can cope - we've changed currency look and feel before.
jonthegeologist, Dec 25 2006

       [jtg], I think if you go back far enough, we've actually changed the size as well. (And the wording. I have some notes that Don't say "In God We Trust". I have others that say something to the effect of payable in the amount in Silver.)
Zimmy, Dec 26 2006

       Many Americans that travel are rude and obnoxious. This might be because they are rich snobs, they are rude and obnoxious here too and us average folk can't stand them either. Backpackers/low budget travelers will give you a better idea of what an average American is like. I would like to add that this is an idea not a political statement getting boned because of perceived politics/ethics is poor form. If you don't like the IDEA bone away preferably with an explanation. If you want to make a statement on topics ideas bring up that is welcome, annotate and remain neutral don't try to add weight to your opinion by using a bone for an exclamation point. Ive been seeing this more often lately. This can only lead to less free thought.
pydor, Dec 27 2006

       Couldn't the Mint just cut exisiting currency down until the new bills come online?
nomocrow, Dec 28 2006

       Good, the wife is asleep and I can now freely annotate.   

       [21Quest], the typical british tourist is polite, waits in line, is well behaved and wellmannered. But the drinking basterds with shaved heads hooligan type of british tourist have maneged to give the british abroad a bad name.   

       I being Dutch have travelled to several far away countries and always have been received with much respect on account of being dutch. So I understand your touch of patriotism.   

       The percentage of americans abroad being loudmouthed basterds is just to high. They give you a bad name abroad, that's all. It doesn't mean you are all like that.   

       Besides it is well known in the civelised world that America only goes to war when it serves their interest. Think oil-control and anti communism action.   

       The wars in africa and the genocides there are much worse then in the middle east.I.e. more victims, more brutality.   

       The China contra Tibet trauma is much the same as the Iran-Irak trauma but it just doesn't get the front page on account of not being linked to the price of oil.   

       No front page=no election material=no semi heroics.   

       Again, I admire a touch of patriotism and I think the US of A are a great nation, but your might abroad is based on money and weapons instead of wisdom and truth.   

       The US of A could learn a lot from countries such ach as Belgium, Luxembourg, Iceland, Norway, Sweden etc...
zeno, Dec 30 2006

       //The US of A could learn a lot from countries such ach as Belgium//
The Scramble for The Middle East?
calum, Dec 30 2006

       Still off topic of idea, but anyway 21 Quest in particular, most of the criticism of the US is directed towards that country's government and the selfish levels of consumption and ignorance of the global consequences thereof.   

       I have many American friends and relatives. Most people do, but Americans can display a swaggering arrogance, and ignorance of what goes on beyond their own borders that is profound. Don't take it personally. Just be glad to say: " Well don't include me in that generalisation, as I'm not like that."   

       As for currency for the blind - why not? Braille dots on it would solve most of the problems.
xenzag, Dec 30 2006

       The American Council for the Blind won its case today (see link):   

       "The US government could be forced to redesign the dollar bill after a court ruled today that paper money discriminates against the blind. The decision upheld a 2006 lawsuit filed by the American Council for the Blind to challenge the lack of distinguishing features on US dollars. Among more than 180 countries that use paper money, only America prints its currency with identical size and characteristics for each bill."
imaginality, May 20 2008

       Great Idea, the only problem is, what about all the pop/snack machines that have already been designed upon regular US dollars? I know a blind person probably won't be able to use those things anyway (unless, of course, they were made blind friendly as well, with braille on/near the buttons) but if they changed the type of currency that is used in the US, there would be problems nontheless. What on earth would they do with all those dollar bills? Also, companies would end up having to develop a new dollar-bill reader for the new money. Not only that, but millions of machines would become obsolete and end up being unable to accept the new dollar bills. Once the original US dollar bills become less and less common because the banks/stores no longer are handing them out, the "old" machines would basically be inoperative in terms of dollar bills. Coins would still work and are already blind-friendly, but not everyone carries loose change around as often as dollar bills. I suppose maybe machines designed to accept the new money could also have another slot for "Old" money. It would be a major leap forward in "blind-friendliness" in the us, but it would also be a small step back economically, because making this type of change, especially to something we've all used for a long time, would be expensive.
Dickcheney6, May 21 2008

       [Dickcheney6], making changes to machines to accept new tender is not that difficult, as mentioned in an earlier annotation by [oneoffdave].
For example, in NZ (see link), there have been many recent changes to both coins and notes. It is simply done gradually, with a 'grace period' of dual acceptance, and everybody moves on and is happy (well, most people are happy...); and the expense can simply be put to ongoing maintenance/upgrades for vending machines etc.
neutrinos_shadow, May 21 2008

       How's about just one of those hand embossers, with the rotary choices, and all retail businesses, drug dealers and Donzi boat salesmen would simply emboss the numbers on the bills as they count them.
plynthe, May 21 2008


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