Further Currency Delays Raise Concerns

Alexandria, Va. (May 16, 2016) — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) expresses deep concern and disappointment over continued delays by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which recently reported further delays of accessible tactile paper currency to as late as 2026.
“ACB is extremely upset that shortfalls in security and anti-counterfeiting measures will likely push back the country’s first accessible paper currency an additional six years from prior projections,” said Kim Charlson, ACB’s president. “If our country can create a space program and put a man on the moon in less than nine years, the government should be able to figure out how to make paper currency both secure and accessible in less than twice that time.”
The U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia ruled in 2008 that paper currency in the United States was in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under Section 504, all federal government programs and practices must be accessible to people with disabilities. The suit, first filed in 2002 by ACB and resolved in 2008, was seen as a great victory for Americans who are blind. The previous projection was seven to 10 years out for the accessible currency circulation; however, in recent years it was further pushed back to 2020.
“It is critical the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, along with the Federal Reserve, must overcome this setback as quickly as possible,” Charlson said. “We call on the Anti-Counterfeiting Deterrence Committee to work both judiciously and expeditiously in order to regain valuable time that has been lost.”