Currency Features for Visually Impaired People

Committee on Currency Features Usable by the Visually Impaired

National Materials Advisory Board

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

Publication NMAB-478

National Academy Press
1995



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
--> Currency Features for Visually Impaired People Committee on Currency Features Usable by the Visually Impaired National Materials Advisory Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council Publication NMAB-478 National Academy Press 1995

OCR for page R1
--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is President of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The study by the National Materials Advisory Board was conducted under Contract No. TEP-92-58(N) with the U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The complete volume of Currency Features for Visually Impaired People is available for sale from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW. Washington, DC 20418. Braille and large print copies of the report may be obtained from The Lighthouse, Inc., 111 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022. The report is also accessible on the World Wide Web at http://www.nas.edu/. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 94-69234. International Standard Book Number 0-309-05194-0. Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

OCR for page R1
--> COMMITTEE ON CURRENCY FEATURES USABLE BY THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED NORBERT S. BAER, Chair, New York University, New York GARY A. BAUM, James River Corporation, Neenah, Wisconsin; North Carolina State University, Raleigh JOHN BRABYN, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, California JOSEPH GAYNOR, Innovative Technology Associates, Ventura, California JOHN HASLOP, Thomas De La Rue, Ltd., Hampshire, England GORDON E. LEGGE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis ROBERT R. SHANNON, University of Arizona, Tucson GLENN T. SINCERBOX, IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California Liaison Representative SARA CHURCH, Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, D.C. National Materials Advisory Board Staff SANDRA HYLAND, Staff Officer JANICE M. PRISCO, Senior Project Assistant

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
--> Acknowledgments The Committee on Currency Features Usable by the Visually Impaired would like to acknowledge the contributions of the individuals who made presentations or submitted statements at the workshop held in March, 1994. The information presented helped the committee to understand the needs of the various communities of people who are blind and those with low vision. The understanding that the committee gained about the state of research in visual and tactile perception assisted them in judging proposed currency features against firm technical criteria. The committee acknowledges the following persons representing groups of blind and visually disabled people for their input in their areas of specialization: Mr. George Abbott, Randolph-Sheppard Foundation: needs of the blind vendor community Mr. Dominick D. Bax, The Jewish Guild for the Blind: needs of blind and visually disabled individuals, especially in rehabilitation programs Ms. Cherie Hendricks: currency identification system Ms. Billie Jean Hill, American Council of Citizens with Low Vision: needs of the low-vision communities Mr. Stephen King, Royal National Institute for the Blind: approaches used by the United Kingdom and the European Union Mr. Marc Maurer, National Federation of the Blind: needs of the blind community Mr. Oral Miller, American Council of the Blind: needs of the blind community Ms. Kathleen Monroe, Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation (RP): changes in vision with RP progression, needs of the RP community Mr. J. F. Oschwald: currency identification system Mr. Brian Wallach, The Lighthouse, Inc.: needs of the blind community The committee acknowledges the following representatives of the research community: Dr. Aries Arditi, Lighthouse Research Institute: color contrast for target identification Professor Ian Bailey, University of California, Berkeley: visual target identification Professor Karlene Ball, Western Kentucky University: vision changes with aging, design for visual target perception

OCR for page R1
--> Professor Roger Cholewiak, Princeton University: vibrotactile perception Professor James Craig, Indiana University: tactile perception Professor Emerson Foulke, Braille Research Center and University of Louisville: readability of braille and tactile symbols Dr. Sam Genensky, Center for the Partially Sighted: low-vision population statistics Professor Morton Heller, Winston-Salem University: tactile perception Professor Gary Rubin, Lions Vision Center, Johns Hopkins University: vision changes with aging Dr. Elliot Schreier, American Foundation for the Blind: low-vision population statistics, devices for currency identification The committee would like to acknowledge the generosity of the following representatives of foreign banks and currency printing authorities in sharing information on their methods and experiences in manufacturing banknotes with various features that can be used by visually disabled people: Mr. W. Farber, Security Printing Works, Oesterreichische National bank, Austria Mr. H. Blanckaert and Mr. J. Renders, Département Imprimerie, Banque National de Belgique, Belgium Mr. Donald Bennett, Department of Banking Operations, Bank of Canada Ms. Micheline Lefebvre-Manthorp, Bank of Canada Mr. Rafael Cruz V., Subgerente Industrial, Banco de la República, Colombia Mr. Alex Jarvis, Bank of England Printing Works Mr. J. Faou, Service de l'Imprimerie, France Mr. Sándor Péterfi, Hungarian Banknote Printing Corporation Mr. E. Soekarna, Indonesian Government Security Printing and Minting Company Mr. Shlomo Skids, Currency Department, Bank of Israel Mr. Yoshio Minoshima, General Coordination Division, Printing Bureau, Japan Ing. Luis. J. Marentes M., Banco de Mexico Mr. A. Benali and Mr. M. Iraqi, Bank A1-Maghrib, Morocco Dr. Peter Koeze, De Nederlandsche Bank, The Netherlands Mr. Jan Erik Johansen and Mr. Johs. Bjørgo, Norges Bank Seddeltrykkeri, Norway Mr. Jaime Gaiteiro, Fabrica National de Moneda y Timbre, Spain Mr. Tommy Blomberg, Printing Division, AB Tumba Bruk, Sweden Mr. P. Trachsel and Mr. M. Meroni, Banque Nationale Suisse, Switzerland Mr. Oscar Knapp, Embassy of Switzerland Mr. Chumpol Santipong, Bank of Thailand The Director and Assistant Director of the Branch of the Banknote Printing Plant, Central Bank of Turkey Special recognition goes to Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, and its staff, for hosting a meeting and tour of their research facility for the committee. The following members of the Minnesota Laboratory for Low Vision Research are acknowledged for their contributions to measurements conducted by a member of the committee:

OCR for page R1
--> Dr. J. Stephen Mansfield, Mr. Andrew Luebker, and Ms. Kaya Garcia. Thanks also go to the following employees of the James River Corporation who participated in a brainstroming session on features: Mr. Robert Aloisi, Mr. Robert Patterson, Mr. Daniel Geddes, and Mr. Donald Voas. The committee also wishes to thank Mr. Steve McGregor of Thomas De La Rue, Inc., for his painstaking compilation of the data contained in Appendix D. The Lighthouse, Inc. kindly agreed to make this report available to braille readers by printing the entire text of the report in braille format. The Lighthouse will also provide copies of the report in large print on request. We thank The Lighthouse, Inc., and also Mr. Brian Wallach, who was responsible for arranging the special Lighthouse printing. The committee is particularly grateful to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's liaison representative, Dr. Sara Church, Office of Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence, for her active participation at all data-gathering meetings and for providing valuable supporting materials and data for the committee's use. The committee gratefully acknowledges the vital support and contributions of Dr. Sandra Hyland, staff officer at the National Materials Advisory Board, throughout the study; Dr. Robert Schafrik, director of the National Materials Advisory Board, who provided insight and help during the preparation of the report. The committee also thanks Ms. Janice Prisco, who provided much appreciated assistance and administrative support.

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
--> Preface Since October 1, 1877, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) of the Department of Treasury has printed all U.S. banknotes. The current design of U.S. banknotes has not changed significantly since 1929. In 1990 the New Currency Design Task Force was formed by the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee, an interagency group including representatives from the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the BEP, and the Secret Service. This task force was charged with redesigning the banknotes to make them more difficult to counterfeit. The designs were to be presented to the Secretary of the Treasury for consideration. Initial concepts were announced by the BEP and the Department of Treasury in conjunction with hearings by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on July 13, 1994 (BEP, 1994). In 1992, the Department of the Treasury requested that the National Research Council, through its National Materials Advisory Board, analyze and recommend counterfeit-deterrence features that could be incorporated into a redesign of U.S. banknotes. Previous studies by the board had assessed counterfeit-deterrence features at times when a major redesign was not anticipated (NRC, 1985, 1987). The study whose major conclusions are summarized in Appendix B (NRC, 1993) focused on the identification of security features that could be used to deter counterfeiting by "casual" and "professional" counterfeiters making use of the enhanced capabilities of the new generation of color copiers and digital copiers and printers. The BEP recognized that the occasion of a redesign of the U.S. banknotes presented an opportunity to reexamine the issue of making the banknotes more readily usable by people who are visually disabled, an issue it had studied previously (BEP, 1983) at a time when no general redesign was anticipated. The BEP requested that the National Materials Advisory Board extend its study of currency features to features that could assist visually disabled people to more easily handle paper money in a variety of cash transactions. The objectives of the current study were to: assess features that could be used by people who are visually disabled to recognize, denominate, and authenticate banknotes; recommend features that could be reasonably incorporated into U.S. banknotes using available technology; suggest strategies that should be instituted to make the recommended features most effective; and

OCR for page R1
--> identify research needs in particularly promising areas that could lead to attractive future approaches. Eight volunteers with expertise in advanced reprographic technology, materials science, substrate materials, currency production, psychophysics, optical engineering, chemical engineering, optics, and physics formed the Committee on Currency Features Usable by the Visually Impaired. Two members of the committee conduct research on topics related to visual disabilities and with visually disabled people; one member of the committee is visually impaired. The committee met four times between February and August 1994. Invited presentations from experts in visual and tactile perception and from representatives of organizations of blind people and people who are visually impaired provided relevant data at a workshop. Information specific to the manufacture and usefulness of various features usable by visually disabled people for denominating banknotes was solicited from representatives of thirty-eight issuing authorities. Eighteen of these representatives responded with information on their experiences producing and using such features as size-denominated banknotes, color, large numerals, and tactile markings. Where appropriate, the information provided by these representatives is cited and is listed in the references as a "personal communication" to the committee. The committee recognized that reliable denomination of banknotes is essential to maintaining independence for visually disabled individuals. Authentication of banknotes will certainly require features in addition to those added to the banknote for aiding denomination by visually disabled people. In this report, the committee reviews and assesses possible banknote features for blind and visually disabled people. The scope of the task was limited to consideration of the use of U.S. paper money only, and the committee did not offer an evaluation of the entire circulating medium. Conclusions and recommendations are presented to assist the BEP and the U.S. Treasury Department in developing the design of the next-generation banknotes to ensure that U.S. banknotes are made conveniently usable by the broadest cross-section of the nation's population under a wide range of use conditions. Because of the confidential nature of banknote design and manufacture, the committee was unable to fully assess the costs of, and difficulties associated with, implementation of any of the features recommended and, thus, does not offer a full cost-benefit analysis or a detailed implementation strategy for any features. Due to the fact that some readers may not be familiar with many of the technical terms used, a glossary is provided at the end of the report for their convenience. In considering the needs of the 3.7 million U.S. citizens with low vision, the committee observed that many documents issued by government agencies, such as passports, stamps, tax forms, and food stamps, could better serve those with low vision if features similar to those discussed in the report were incorporated in their design. Indeed, in some cases, features not considered sufficiently robust for application in banknote design might find early application in other government documents. Similarly, the public education campaign accompanying any introduction of banknote features for visually disabled people should encourage the private sector to include such considerations in packaging design and related applications. The Executive Summary is reproduced in Appendix A in larger type (15-point) in accordance with guidelines set by the U.S. Postal Service to categorize reading material for

OCR for page R1
--> legally blind people. A braille or a large-print version of the entire report may be obtained from the Lighthouse, Inc., which can be contacted at (212) 821-9200. Because the braille version of this report will not contain the figure graphics, the figure contents are described in detail in the text. This report may also be accessed via the National Academy of Sciences World Wide Web server at http://www.nas.edu/. Any comments or suggestions that readers wish to make about the report can be sent via Internet electronic mail to nmab@nas.edu or by fax to the National Materials Advisory Board at (202) 334-3718. Comments of Communications, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, at (202) 874-3019. on the new banknote design may be addressed by calling the Office NORBERT S. BAER, CHAIR COMMITTEE ON CURRENCY FEATURES USABLE BY THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED References BEP (Bureau of Engraving and Printing). 1983. A Study of Mechanisms for the Denomination of U.S. Currency by the Blind or Visually Impaired. Bureau of Engraving and Printing report to Congressman Edward R. Roybal, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Aging. BEP (Bureau of Engraving and Printing). 1994. Bureau of Engraving and Printing presentation to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, July 13, 1994. NRC (National Research Council). 1985. Advanced Reprographic Systems: Counterfeiting Threat and Deterrent Measures. National Materials Advisory Board, NRC. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC (National Research Council). 1987. Counterfeit Threats and Deterrent Measures. National Materials Advisory Board, NRC. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC (National Research Council). 1993. Counterfeit Deterrent Features for the Next-Generation Currency Design. National Materials Advisory Board, NRC. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
--> Contents     Executive Summary   1     Features in Use Worldwide   1     New Banknote Design   2     Feature Assessment Considerations   3     Committee Findings   3     References   6 Chapter 1   Introduction   9     References   11 Chapter 2   Definition of Needs and Statement of Requirements   13     Target Population   14     Currency Identification Needs   21     Discrimination Versus Absolute Judgment   22     Existing Currency Denomination Techniques   24     User Needs and Requirements   26     Summary   26     References   26 Chapter 3   Assessment Methodology for Features for Visually Impaired People   29     Requirements   29     The Ideal Feature   30     Evaluation Strategy   31     Evaluation Framework   31     References   37

OCR for page R1
--> Chapter 4   Description and Assessment of Features   39     Visual/Tactile Features   39     Visual-Only Features   45     Tactile-Only Features   49     Machine-Readable Features   52     Feature Combinations   54     Conclusions and Recommendations   55     References   56 Chapter 5   Research and Development Needs and Future Directions   59     Empirical/Psychophysical Technical Needs   59     Conclusions and Recommendations   65     References   66 Chapter 6   Implementation Strategies   67     Feature Implementation   67     Field Testing   71     Conclusions and Recommendations   72     References   73 Chapter 7   Recommendations   75     Recommended Features   75     Research and Development Opportunities   76     Implementation Strategies   77 Appendix A:   Executive Summary Large Print   79 Appendix B:   Synopsis of NMAB Report 471   89 Appendix C:   Glossary   95 Appendix D:   Features in Use Worldwide   101 Appendix E:   Features Not Subject to Full Evaluation   113 Appendix F:   Description of the New Design Concept   117 Appendix G:   Biographies of Committee Members   119

OCR for page R1
--> List of Illustrations Tables 2-1   Estimated 1990 United States Population with Low Vision and Blindness by Age Category, as Number of People and as Percentage of the Age Group   15 2-2   A Summary of Weber Fractions   23 3-1   Population Category   33 3-2   Function Category   33 3-3   Technical Success Criteria   34 3-4   Implementation Success Criteria   34 Figures 2-1   Percentage by age group of 1990 U.S. population with visual disabilities.   16 2-2   Illustrations of various types of visual impairment using photos of New York's Metropolitan Opera House (a) normal vision; (b) central field loss; (c) peripheral field loss; (d) patchy vision loss; (e) reduced contrast.   18 2-3   Lines of text in decreasing contrast demonstrating visual effects of loss of contrast sensitivity.   20 3-1   Logical sequence of banknote verification: recognition-denomination-authentication.   30 3-2   Evaluation criteria used to determine the effectiveness of proposed currency features.   32

OCR for page R1
--> 3-3   Evaluation criteria for banknote denomination/authentication devices.   37 4-1   Illustrations of various ways to use size to indicate banknote denomination: (a) length only; (b) height only; (c) both length and height; (d) hybrid use of length and height.   40 4-2   Illustrations of various features evaluated: (a) corner cuts; (b) edge notches; (c) holes; (d) large numerals, uncluttered background; (e) distinctive shapes; (f) coarse patterns. (Features in (a) and (b) have been exaggerated for illustration purposes.)   41 4-3   Illustration of variation in substrate thickness achieved by watermark in Japanese currency (BEP, 1983).   50 4-4   Holes in one thickness of a laminated structure.   51 F-1   Design concept for the new $100 bill, as introduced by the Department of the Treasury   118

OCR for page R1
Currency Features for Visually Impaired People

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.