Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Judge says money unfair to the blind. change it!

Nation: Wonderful, yet more money to be spent to fix a problem that wasn't there before because the judge is an internationalist.

WASHINGTON — American paper money represents an unfair impediment to the blind, and the Treasury Department must come up with new U.S. currency to help the visually impaired use cash, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said keeping all U.S. currency the same size and texture violates the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in government programs. "Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations," Robertson wrote in his ruling. "More than 100 of the other issuers vary their bills in size according to denomination, and every other issuer includes at least some features that help the visually impaired." Day Al-Mohamed, director of advocacy and government affairs at the American Council of the Blind, said that most of the world's currency is distinguished by color, size, perforations or tactile symbols. The Euro, for instance, can be determined by the length of the bill — the higher the denomination the longer the bill. "Saudi Arabia has money that varies in size based on denomination," she said. "If so many other countries can do it, why not the greatest country in the world?"
Who gives a flying whatever what other countries are doing with their currency, was this a massive national problem for the blind all these years?
But John Paré, director of public relations for the National Federation of the Blind, the nation's largest organization representing blind people, said identifying the money is hardly the most difficult obstacle for the blind to overcome. "The focus for improving the lives of blind Americans needs to be put on earning money not figuring out how to identify money," he said. "Over 70 percent of blind Americans are under-employed or unemployed and this is what needs to be addressed. "It really is distracting to have this lawsuit," he said, since assistance should concentrate on people "who don't have the money in the first place."

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