Australian Banknotes – Assisting People with Vision Impairment

The next generation of Australian banknotes
is primarily about upgrading the security of our banknotes, but it is also an opportunity
for us to be able to introduce further accessibility to our banknotes for people with a vision
impairment. We’ve decided to put embossed bumps onto our banknotes to help people feel
the difference between denominations on our next generation of banknotes in Australia. This was a decision that we made with extensive
consultation and a lot of research into the different features that we could have used
and we ended up deciding on these embossed bumps as being the best way to go to help
people with a vision impairment. The embossed bumps on banknotes is something
that not many other currencies have and the Reserve Bank is an early adopter of this technology.
The Reserve Bank has been committed to providing accessible banknotes to the community for
a long time and some of the features that we’ve had include different size denominations,
colour contrasts and large numerals on our banknotes. The embossed bumps is an additional
way that we can help people with a vision impairment tell the difference between their
banknotes. We’ve consulted extensively with many parts
of the community as part of our next generation banknote program and that includes the companies
that make the machines that dispense and accept cash so that our banknotes will continue to
be available to everyone in the community. Counterfeiting levels in Australia are quite
low, the next generation of Australian banknotes gives us an opportunity to help upgrade the
security of our banknotes and make it even more difficult for counterfeiters to copy
our banknotes.

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