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App aids visually impaired

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Under legal pressure to create a paper currency that can be read by the blind and visually impaired, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has come up with an interim measure – a free app called EyeNote™ that is downloadable to the Apple iPhone (3G, 3Gs, 4), and the 4th Generation iPod Touch and iPad2 platforms, and is available through the Apple iTunes App Store.  

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Denominations of notes issued since 1996 can be determined and the app user can receive the information either as an audible or vibrating indication of value, the BEP says. The camera requires 51 percent of a note’s scanned face or back image to make the identification.

BEP is also working on a currency reader program where blind or visually impaired Americans can obtain a coupon that can be applied toward the purchase of such a device.

It is also working to add large, high contrast numerals and different background colors to redesigned currency, and raised tactile features may be added in the future to redesigned currency.

Visit www.eyenote.gov for more information.

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