Release Date: November 14, 2014
Contact: Darlene Anderson
Washington, DC– Beginning today, all U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired can request a free currency reader from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) by downloading the required application from the BEP’s website (www.bep.gov). The application must be filled out completely, signed by a competent authority that can certify eligibility, and returned to the mailing address provided on the form.
The BEP’s U.S. Currency Reader Program will officially rollout nationally on January 2, 2015, at which time the BEP will begin processing applications. The estimated timeframe for delivery of readers after the national rollout is six-to-eight weeks.
The currency reader device, called iBill Currency Identifier, provides a convenient means for blind or visually impaired individuals to identify all Federal Reserve notes (U.S. currency) in circulation. iBill uses a single, AAA battery which is included. The denomination can be 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.
In September, the BEP launched a four-month pilot program where existing patrons of the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) are eligible to pre-order currency readers. The pilot program provided an opportunity for the government to test its ordering and distribution process, and gauge demand for currency readers in advance of the January 2015 national rollout. The BEP will begin shipping readers to NLS patrons who pre-ordered a reader during the pilot program in December 2014.
The U.S. Currency Reader Program is a component of the BEP’s initiative to provide meaningful access to Federal Reserve notes. In 2011, the BEP introduced EyeNote, an app that scans and identifies note images on mobile devices operating on the Apple iOS platform. BEP also assisted the Department of Education in developing the IDEAL Currency Reader app for Android phones.
Please direct questions or comments about the U.S. Currency Reader Program to the BEP toll-free number (844-815-9388) or email at email@example.com. More information about the U.S. Currency Reader Program and the BEP’s meaningful access initiative is available at www.bep.gov.