Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Court says U.S. Treasury Department discriminates against blind people

I think change is in the air.

And, I’m not talking about loose change. Its bigger than that. The change of which I speak is concerning our paper money here in the United States. You see, an appeals court judge has just ruled that our current system of
paper money discriminates against blind people.

Whether you agree with the lawsuit brought by the
American Council of the Blind
(ACB), or not, the legal arguments made in the suit requesting change are valid.

Of all the major developed countries in the world, only the U.S. has nothing in place to make possible tactile discrimination between different denominations of our paper money. So, the Treasury Department cannot argue that it isn’t possible. Nor, due to the constantly reworkings almost every bill has received in recent years by this department, can they argue undue hardship. And, the legal argument striking down the Treasury Department’s defense of the current system due to the adaptability of most blind people having a way to cope are just as strong.

From the Associated Press article:
“The court ruled 2-1 that such adaptations were insufficient. The government might as well argue that, since handicapped people can crawl on all fours or ask for help from strangers, there's no need to make buildings wheelchair accessible, the court said.”

I may be wrong, but I expect that the Treasury Department will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Even if they choose to accept the current ruling as the right thing to do and quit appealing, change will be slow in coming. Still, I do believe change is in the air.

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