Currency features for visually impaired people

Sandra L. Hyland, Gordon E. Legge, Robert R. Shannon, Norbert S. Baer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The estimated 3.7 million Americans with low vision experience a uniquely difficult task in identifying the denominations of U.S. banknotes because the notes are remarkably uniform in size, color, and general design. The National Research Council's Committee on Currency Features Usable by the Visually Impaired assessed features that could be used by people who are visually disabled to distinguish currency from other documents and to denominate and authenticate banknotes using available technology. Variation of length and height, introduction of large numerals on a uniform, high-contrast background, use of different colors for each of the six denominations printed, and the introduction of overt denomination codes that could lead to development of effective, low-cost devices for examining banknotes were all deemed features available now. Issues affecting performance, including the science of visual and tactile perception, were addressed for these features, as well as for those features requiring additional research and development. In this group the committee included durable tactile features such as those printed with transparent ink, and the production of currency with holes to indicate denomination. Among long-range approaches considered were the development of technologically advanced devices and smart money.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsRudolf L. van Renesse
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1996
EventOptical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Feb 1 1996Feb 2 1996

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques
CitySan Jose, CA, USA


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