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NCD Hosts Tactile Currency Forum in Honor of 40th Anniversary of the Rehab Act

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sept. 27, 2013

WASHINGTON – On September 26, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the signing of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 into law, the National Council on Disability (NCD) was pleased to host an “Introduction of Tactile Currency in America” with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Federal Reserve Board, and the U.S. Secret Service to create awareness of, inform and provide relevant input for recommendations and action on the development and distribution of tactile currency in the United States.

The event, held at the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing, included presentations on the design, production and distribution of tactile currency; and representatives from a number of federal agencies detailed the progress on providing meaningful access to U.S. paper currency for persons with disabilities.

“Unprecedented increases in the number of Americans with vision disabilities, due to the aging demographics of American society and significant increases in combat injuries affecting sight among American veterans make the development and adoption of tactile currency a growing need,” said NCD Chairperson Jeff Rosen. “Just as the Rehab Act extended civil rights to Americans with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination within the federal government and Section 508 of the Act built the foundation for electronic access four decades ago, we held this event to honor our history and move toward a day when the money Americans spend can be both earned and used by all.”

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (The Rehab Act) prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors. Section 504 of the Rehab Act extended civil rights to people with disabilities and Section 508 requires federal electronic and information technology to be made accessible. The law also created the United States Access Board to ensure equal access to the built environment.

NCD extends its sincere gratitude to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Federal Reserve Board, and the U.S. Secret Service for their partnership and expertise, along with community stakeholders, in conducting this event. We also acknowledge and appreciate the commitment of the Administration as articulated by Claudia Gordon from the White House Office of Public Engagement in her keynote address. Lastly, while the commitment to universal access is Council-wide, the success of this event would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of Council Member Janice Lehrer-Stein and Co-Vice Chair Kamilah Oni Martin-Proctor. 

About NCD: Formed in 1978 under the U.S. Department of Education, the National Council on Disability became an independent federal agency in 1984. NCD consists of 15 Presidentially-appointed Council Members and full-time professional staff, who advise the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy, programs, and practices.

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