$5 Notes More Accessible to Vision-Impaired People

A small change in Australia’s new generation of bank notes is set to have a huge impact on blind and vision-impaired people.

Two tiny, raised dots — about the size of a sprinkle on a piece of fairy bread — will appear on the new $5 note, which will be released into circulation by the Reserve Bank on September 1.

Vision Australia lead policy advisor Bruce Maguire said the new tactile feature would assist almost 360,000 Australians who are blind or vision-impaired.

“For the first time in the history of Australian currency it will be possible for someone who is blind or vision-impaired to just pick up a note and know instantly what it is,” Mr Maguire said

“As a blind person I think this change is one of the most significant — if not the most significant — inclusive actions I’ve seen in Australia in my lifetime because while there have been other inclusive actions, like audible pedestrian crossings, they’re not universal, they differ from state to state.

“The new note with the tactile feature will help every Australian, no matter where they are.”