As part of the U.S. government’s meaningful access initiative, the Bureau of Engraving And Printing (BEP) will provide an iBill® Talking Banknote Identifier at no cost to all eligible blind or visually impaired persons who request one.
Beginning September 2, 2014, in partnership with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, the BEP will begin a pilot program where NLS patrons can pre-order an iBill® currency reader. Currency readers will be widely available to eligible others beginning January 2, 2015. NLS patrons or folks who want to become an NLS patron can call 1-888-657-7323 to pre-register to get a currency reader when the National program rolls out in January 2015. Once you register in September, you will be on the list for the first shipment of readers to go out in January, or you can wait and sign up in January when the program is opened up to all blind and low vision folks. If you have questions prior to September 2, 2014, you can call The Bureau of Engraving and Printing at 844-815-9388.
iBill® is a currency reader device that provides a convenient means for blind or visually impaired individuals to identify Federal Reserve notes (U.S. currency). Its compact “key-fob” design allows it to be carried in a pocket or purse, clipped to a belt, or attached to a keychain or lanyard.
The iBill® is a fast and accurate means to identify all Federal Reserve notes in circulation – $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. It is convenient and easy to use. Just insert a Federal Reserve note into the device, press the button on the side, and the denomination is identified. The denomination is announced in one of three ways: a clear natural voice, a pattern of tones, or a pattern of vibrations for privacy. The vibration mode also assists people who are deaf and blind. The iBill® operates on a single, AAA battery which typically lasts for more than a year. The initial battery is included. The iBill® does not identify counterfeit banknotes. Banknotes in poor physical condition are indicated as un- identifiable and are not read.
In addition to distributing currency readers, the BEP will also add a raised tactile feature and continue to add large, high-contrast numerals and different colors to each denomination that it is permitted by law to alter.