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Monday, December 8, 2014

U.S. Currency Reader Program - Free Money Reader For The Blind

as posted  by U.S. Department of the Treasury

As an interim measure in advance of issuing tactile-enhanced Federal Reserve notes, the BEP is providing currency readers, free of charge, to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals.

iBill Talking Banknote IdentifierOn July 3, 2014, the BEP announced its distribution plans for the U.S. Currency Reader Program.  Details of the announcement can be found in a press release issued on Thursday, July 3, 2014, and others released on July 14, 2014, and August 18, 2014. The U.S. Currency Reader application was posted to allow the general population of individual who are blind or visually impaired to apply for a currency reader device.

The U.S. Currency Reader Program launches in two phases:

Pilot:  Beginning September 2, 2014, in partnership with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, (NLS) the BEP initiated a four-month pilot where NLS patrons can pre-order a currency reader.  The pilot program allows the government to test its ordering and distribution processes and gauge demand for currency readers. To receive a currency reader, eligible individuals who are currently patrons of NLS need only contact their NLS regional library or call 1-888-NLS-READ. When prompted for regional library (third tone), say "library," and you will be connected to your nearest braille and talking book library.  Ask for a currency reader, and someone will take your name and contact information so that you will be issued a currency reader when they become available.
National Rollout: Currency readers will be widely available to all U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired, starting January 2, 2015.  Individuals who are not NLS patrons must submit an application, signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility. Applications are now available in English and in Spanish. All applications will be processed beginning January 2, 2015.
Additional information about the U.S. Currency Reader Program and about the currency reader device can be found in the links below.  The BEP encourages organizations that support the blind and visually impaired community to distribute these materials, incorporate the information provided into individualized communications, or link to this website.

Contact Us:  For additional questions or comments about the U.S. Currency Reader Program you may call (844) 815-9388 toll-free or email meaningful.access@bep.gov.
More about NLS:  NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials available to U.S. residents and citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or physical handicap makes it difficult to read a standard printed page.  More information about the program and other services provided by NLS can be viewed at http://www.loc.gov/nls/.
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