The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) partners with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in support of its US Currency Reader Program, to provide currency reader devices, free of charge, to eligible individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The program is part of the US government’s Meaningful Access Initiative to assist individuals who experience difficulties identifying US currency.
The currency reader, called the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier, is a compact device that announces a note’s value in one of three ways: voice, pattern of tones, or pattern of vibrations. Just insert a note into the device and press the button on the side to have the denomination identified.
The currency reader does not identify foreign or counterfeit banknotes. The size of a key fob, it can be carried in a pocket or purse, clipped to a belt, or attached to a keychain or lanyard. It operates on a single AAA battery, which typically lasts for more than a year. The initial battery is included.
Eligible individuals who wish to receive a free currency reader may download an application:
Additionally, BEP offers currency reader mobile apps for smart devices that may be downloaded for free. The EyeNote for iOS External and IDEAL Currency Identifier for Andriod External use image recognition technology and the device’s integrated camera to recognize a Federal Reserve note and communicate the note’s denomination back to the user. The currency reader mobile apps do not authenticate a note as being either genuine or counterfeit.
To learn more about the US Currency Reader Program or other aspects of the US government’s initiative to provide meaningful access to US currency or if you need help with your iBill device, call 844-815-9388, email [email protected], or visit Meaningful Access Program – Currency Reader Program External.
Current NLS patrons may call 888-NLS-READ and request assistance with the application from their network braille and talking book library.
BVI professional: Click here to enter the currencyreader.gov portal to request a new account to be a currency reader certifier or to submit currency reader applications as an authorized currency reader certifier.