Several people have all ready written about the ACB's court victory for accessible money. There's been a lot of division between ACB and NFB over this issue, and in some ways I see both points. However, I've got a few things to say. First off, I read an article earlier today on my Friends Page that came from the NFB. In the article it said that the NFB is the "voice of the nation's blind". I'm really uncomfortable with this simply because, thank you very much, I have a big mouth and I'm definitely not afraid to use it. I don't feel that I need someone, or some organization telling me how I should feel about different issues. Just because some people feel that the accessible money suit was wrong doesn't mean that the entire blind community thinks it's wrong.
I understand the arguments. Yes, there is a very high unemployment rate among the blind, and yes, an emphasis should be placed on increasing the employment rate. However, to me, this kind of suit can only help. I've been the victim of dishonest people before, and have been short-changed in stores and/or taxis, so in my opinion, asking someone is not always a viable option. We are living in the United States of America, a country that many people have died to get into, yet we are, from what I understand, one of the only countries who doesn't have accessible bills.
Then there's the issue of the money identifiers. Again, this is great, but with the 70 percent unemployment rate, how are people supposed to afford the $300 or so required to purchase one of these devices, let alone pay for them to be upgraded every time the US Treasury decides to update the bills. Let's not forget the fact that they are doing things to the bills that make it harder to counterfeit, and this is also making it harder for optical character recognition software to recognize them as well. So how long are these bill identifiers going to be useful options? Let's not even mention the fact that I've seen them report things wrong, or say something like "probably a 1". Okay, there's a major difference between a 1, a 10, and a 100, but if the money is so crumpled or faded that it isn't recognizable how is that little unit helping us?
I fold my money. I've developed a system that works well for me, but this folding system is only as good as the people I ask about my denominations. I try not to carry anything larger than a $20 bill, and normally I carry only fives since taxi drivers tend to not be happy about making change. But I for one am looking forward to the day when I can pull out my paper money and know, with complete confidence, that the bill I'm handing over is really a ten and not a twenty.
Somewhere I read that people will often say what they're handing the clerks in the stores. I do this too, normally, but this is kind of a double-edged sword as well. If you hand them a $20 bill and say it's a $10 bill, you're opening up the opportunity for them to just pocket the other $10 and you'd never know. Kind of scary when you think about it.
Anyway, that's my thoughts on the subject. I do understand where the NFB is coming from in regards to bigger issues, but why not start with this and then maybe the other issues can be dealt with more easily.