Making it easier for the visually impaired to handle currency


Posted by on June 11, 2018  /  0 Comments

This was an issue that came up in the discussions leading up to our Nepal Hackathon. But the idea that apps should be developed to read currency notes did not go too far. Electronic payments should, of course, be designed with all disabled persons in mind.

Here is a report on how the debate in playing out in India:

Currency notes should be of different lengths and widths or have simple symbols embossed on them for easy identification, as this would be simpler than a separate device to recognise them, according to associations representing the visually impaired.

The comments come after the Reserve Bank of India, in its bimonthly Monetary Policy Review, said it would look into the feasibility of developing a device or mechanism to help the visually challenged easily identify currency notes.

“The Reserve Bank is of the view that technological progress has opened up new vistas for making Indian banknotes more recognisable for the visually challenged, facilitating their day-to-day transactions,” it had said, adding that it would issue guidelines in six months.

“A simple solution would be to design notes with lengths, breadths and thickness reflecting their value. So a ₹10 note should be the smallest in size and a ₹2,000 note the biggest,” said Bhaskar Y Mehta, President, National Association for the Blind.

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