Tactile currency bill (fwd)

From: David Andrews (dandrews@winternet.com)
Date: Tue Mar 26 1996 - 01:25:23 PST

Well, this one is emerging again!
David Andrews

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 17:54:13 EST
From: Jamal Mazrui <74444.1076@COMPUSERVE.COM>
To: Multiple recipients of list EASI <EASI@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>
Subject: Tactile currency bill

A low tech information access issue concerns nonvisual
identification of paper currency. Folks may be interested in a
resolution on this topic that has recently been introduced in
Congress. I am posting the remarks the sponsor inserted in the
Congressional Record, followed by the text of the bill itself.

Jamal Mazrui
National Council on Disability
Email: 74444.1076@compuserve.com


              Congressional Record dated Thursday, March 14, 1996
                         Extensions of Remarks Section

Remarks by BAKER (R-LA) on H.Res. 385

                  Attributed to BAKER (R-LA)



                              HON. RICHARD H. BAKER

                                  OF LOUISIANA

                         IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            Thursday, March 14, 1996

    Mr. BAKER of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, today, I am introducing legislation
  that encourages the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to consider making
  Federal Reserve Notes tactually identifiable by the blind and visually
  impaired. This legislation enjoys considerable bipartisan support from my
  colleagues on the House Committee on Banking as well as other Members who
  share the same interests in assisting visually impaired individuals exert
  their independence.

    In March 1994, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing commissioned the
  National Academy of Science to execute a study entitled "Current Features
  Visually Impaired People." This recently published study explores methods of
  making currency more accessible for all Americans.

    The report concluded that the needs of the blind could be better served if
  further study on specific changes such as size, color, and tactile marks be

    Currently, the Department of the Treasury is engaged in efforts to
  the Federal Reserve Note to prevent counterfeiting. Indeed, the new $100
bill is prepared to be issued nationwide right now. With this window of
  opportunity upon us, I believe Congress has the chance to assist the
  of visually impaired Americans who strive to live independently by marking
  their money more accessible to them.

    My bill simply endorses the efforts of the Bureau of Printing and
  to study cost-effective tactile changes in Federal Reserve Notes and
  encourages the incorporation of those change in the national currency.

    My bill does not cost the Federal Government any money, nor does it impose
  any undue, unfair mandates.

    Such a minor change in currency will have a significant impact on the
  independence of visually impaired Americans. Further, a tactual mark can
  serve other purposes, such as being an additional counterfeit deterrent.

    Visually impaired individuals are capable, independent people whose
  valuable contributions touch all of our lives. It is important that all
  Americans are afforded equal opportunities to perform at the best of their
  abilities. My bill stresses that importance. I hope all Members will join me
  to pass this legislation.
   104th CONGRESS
    2d Session
                                   H. RES. 385

  Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding tactile
      currency for the blind and visually impaired.


                         IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                 March 14, 1996
  Mr. Baker of Louisiana (for himself, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Bachus, Mr. Lazio of New
      York, Mr. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Ms. Velazquez, Ms. Roybal-Allard,
      Kanjorski, Mr. LoBiondo, Mrs. Meek of Florida, Mr. Chrysler, Mr. King,
      Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Mr. Schumer, Mr. McCrery, Mrs. Maloney, Mr.
      Cremeans, Mr. Heineman, Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Stockman, Mr.
      Gutierrez, Mr. Watt of North Carolina, Mr. Tauzin, Mr. LaFalce, Mr.
      Ehrlich, Mr. Flake, Mr. Bono, and Mr. Roth) submitted the following
      resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Banking and Financial
      Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in
      each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the
      jurisdiction of the committee concerned


  Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding tactile
      currency for the blind and visually impaired.


      Whereas currency is used by virtually everyone in everyday life,
  including blind and visually impaired persons;
      Whereas the Federal reserve notes of the United States are inaccessible
  to individuals with visual disabilities;
      Whereas the Americans with Disabilities Act enhances the economic
  independence and equal opportunity for full participation in society for
  individuals with disabilities;
      Whereas most blind and visually impaired persons are therefore required
  to rely upon others to determine denominations of such currency;
      Whereas this constitutes a serious impediment to independence in
everyday living;
      Whereas electronic means of bill identification will always be more
  fallible than purely tactile means;
      Whereas tactile currency already exists in 23 countries worldwide; and
      Whereas the currency of the United States is presently undergoing
  significant changes for security purposes: Now, therefore, be it
      Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
          (1) endorses the efforts recently begun by the Bureau of Engraving
      and Printing to upgrade the currency for security reasons; and
          (2) strongly encourages the Secretary of the Treasury and the Bureau
      of Engraving and Printing to incorporate cost-effective, tactile
      into the design changes, thereby including the blind and visually
      impaired community in independent currency usage.

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