When I came to the States, one of the strange things that stopped me is that all the dollar bill banknotes were the same size and texture. Unlike the US, many countries offer the bills with different sizes or texture to be easily distinguished. So how does an American blind person know the difference between bills and coins?
As for coins, they are much easier because they have different sizes. For example, the quarter is the biggest one and the penny is the smallest one. Another differentiator is that the quarter and the dime have a rough or a ridge edge while the nickel and the penny have a smooth one.
OK, this is easy to understand. So what about the bills?
Although that having different sizes or texture can help distinguishing between bills, it is not the case with the bills in the United States. In addition, it is not very practical thing to do; actually it is time consuming, you can’t test every single bill you have in order to see the difference among them.
Here are some simple techniques to try
- Organize money logically in your wallet. Put each bill in a separate pocket for easier identification.
- Fold each bill differently. For example, you may fold the $1 into half, Leave the 5 unfolded, fold the 20 twice … etc
- You may also put a separator between different types of bills then put them in elastic.
Beside those simple techniques mentioned before, there are electronic talking identifiers that can tell the blind person which is which. I didn’t try them myself but I know that they are available to purchase. Of course you should make sure that the identifier can recognize the currency which you are using. Whether it is a dollar, euro, pound etc
If you are a user of Kurzweil 1000, you may have come across the money recognition feature in the tools menu. You simply need to scan the bill and choose the right currency whether it is a US dollar, Canadian dollar, or a British pound.
If you have any other useful way that you think it would be nice, just let us know so that we learn from you 🙂