Blind bill folding

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In the United States, some blind or otherwise visually-impaired people fold dollar bills in specific ways so that they can identify the denominations of the bills by feel.[1] Though some people have their own idiosyncratic systems, there is a method recommended by the American Foundation for the Blind:

  • Leave $1 bills unfolded.
  • Fold $5 bills lengthwise.
  • Fold $10 bills by width.
  • Fold $20 bills lengthwise and then by width. Or you can fold them just lengthwise and put them in a separate section of your wallet.[2]

Unlike the banknotes of most countries, all denominations of United States paper money are the same size, preventing the visually impaired from identifying bills by feel. This alleged lack of access for the blind led to a 2002 court case, American Council of the Blind v. Paulson. In 2006, U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled that the American bills gave an undue burden to the blind and denied them "meaningful access" to the U.S. currency system.[3] Robertson accepted the plaintiff's argument that current practice violates Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.[4][5][6][7] As a result of the court's injunction, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is planning to implement a raised tactile feature in the next redesign of each note, except the $1 (which it is by law not allowed to redesign). [8]


  1. ^ Würdemann, Henry Vanderbilt; Black, Nelson Miles (1913). "Ophthalmology: Essays, Abstracts and Reviews". Milwaukee: American Medical Association press: 51.
  2. ^ "Keeping Track of Money". American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved 2013-06-17.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Government appeals currency redesign". USA Today. Associated Press. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  4. ^ (2006-11-29). "Judge rules paper money unfair to blind". Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  5. ^ Court Says Next Gen Currency Must Be Accessible to the Blind
  6. ^ Court Says the Blind Will Have Meaningful Access to Currency
  7. ^ Progress Update: United States Accessible Currency Project for Blind and Visually Impaired Persons
  8. ^ "Administrative Provisions : Department of the Treasury". Retrieved 2012-01-02.