New $100 bill a win for blind and low vision Aussies
31 October 2020 at 8:30 am
Australians with vision-impairment can now accurately and independently identify and use all next generation banknotes
All denominations of Australian banknotes are now accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, following the release of the next generation of Australia’s $100 banknote.
The new $100 banknote was released into public circulation by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Thursday, featuring raised bumps on the note’s long edges so people who are blind or have low vision can easily identify it.
Vision Australia has welcomed the note’s release, and the inclusion of an accessibility feature that has been part of all new banknotes released by the RBA since 2016.
Chris Edwards, the organisation’s manager of government relations and advocacy, said the release of the new $100 banknote means people who are blind or have low vision can now independently identify all of Australia’s currency.
“More than 350,000 Australians are blind or have low vision and the tactile features now found on all Australian banknotes mean they are able to accurately and independently identify and use cash just like the rest of the Australian population,” Edwards said.
“Cash may not be used as predominantly as it was in the past, but it’s still an important part of day-to-day life for many Australians and it’s vital people who are blind or have low vision can utilise it if and when they need to.”
The first Australian banknote to include the tactile feature was the $5 note in 2016 following a petition from then-teenager Connor McLeod.
The RBA has launched one new note with the tactile feature each year since then, with the $20 note the most recent addition in 2019.
Edwards said the blind and low vision community across the nation was grateful for the efforts of both McLeod and the RBA.
He said McLeod was a great example of the power of personal advocacy and how people with disability can bring about positive change.
“Connor’s desire to be able to identify money has resulted in a life-changing impact for hundreds of thousands of Australians,” Edwards said.
“It’s very pleasing that the RBA listened to Connor and the wider blind and low vision community and were so receptive and committed to including the tactile features in the new banknotes.
“The release of each new banknote has been a great example of how organisations can work to make society more accessible and inclusive and that should be celebrated.”