Contact: Lydia Washington
Washington, DC – January 30, 2018 – In observance of Low Vision Awareness Month, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), in partnership with the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), reminds the public about the U.S. Currency Reader Program, which provides assistive technology at no cost to eligible applicants. The currency reader, called iBill®, is a small hand-held device that denominates all U.S. currency in circulation to assist people who are blind or visually impaired.
To date, more than 59,000 currency readers have been distributed to eligible U.S. citizens and legal residents. “Over the years we have received extremely positive responses from the blind and visually impaired community, cash handlers, and business owners about the usefulness of the currency readers and mobile apps,” said BEP Director Len Olijar. “If you are blind or visually impaired, I encourage you to apply for a currency reader or download one of our mobile apps today. And if you know someone who is blind or visually impaired, please let them know about this program.”
The iBill® operates in one of three modes: 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 identifying a note’s denomination. The device uses a single AAA battery, which is included.
To request a currency reader, individuals should complete the application located on BEP’s website at https://www.bep.gov/services/currency-accessibility/us-currency-reader-program/us-currency-reader-application-form or call (844) 815-9388, toll free, to request that an application be mailed.
BEP also offers two mobile device applications that denominate currency by allowing users to scan a note and have the note’s value communicated, EyeNote® and the IDEAL® Currency Identifier. EyeNote 3.0®, our latest release, is 64-bit and compatible with Apple iOS 11 mobile applications; it can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store. The IDEAL® Currency Identifier app for Android devices can be downloaded free from Google Play. To date, there have been more than 50,000 downloads of BEP-sponsored mobile applications.
For additional information about the U.S. Currency Reader Program or our mobile apps, please visit BEP’s website at https://www.bep.gov/services/currency-accessibility/meaningful-access-program-background. For more updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @USMoneyfactory.