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Local Blind Community Reacts to Court Ruling on Money

For many people money management is hard enough.

Now imagine if you couldn't tell e the dollar value of the bills in your wallet.

According to a Federal Court of Appeals that's a challenge blind people face every day.

So, the court says the U.S. Treasury Department is violating the law by keeping all paper currency the same size.

KSMU's Erika Brame has local reaction to the ruling.

Chris Craig is the Associate Provost for Faculty Relations at Missouri State University.

He's also blind.

So he has his own method for keeping track of his paper money.

Craig folds each bill in a different way.

"This business of being out in public and managing your money and so forth, I know that's a $20.00 because that's the way I've got it folded you know. But it had to start some where in terms like you say the trust issue and getting things in place and picking up the money at the bank. And generally you know when you get your money from the bank there's good trust there. People aren't going to rip you off there, there's a record of that transaction. But from there you are kind of on your own."

According to the Associated Press the U.S. Treasury agreed that, yes paper money hinders the blind but Treasury Officials say blind people have adapted to it.

Craig says this new ruling is something that will bring light to issues facing blind people.

"And so I appreciate the ruling. I appreciate the increase of social awareness it brings to people the idea that you know, 'hey people who are blind will just have to adapt.' Or that people with disabilities, 'hey they've adapted well.' Well you know we all have different abilities we are a very, very heterogeneous group of people, I mean you put ten people who are blind in a room and we are just as different as ten other group of people you would randomly select off the street. You know we all have different abilities."

The Federal Appeals Court says changing the money to different sizes for each bill or adding Braille would not be undue burden since the United States Treasury has altered currency many times over the past several years.

For KSMU News I'm Erika Brame.