People who are blind or have low vision were among the first in the country to experience the new $20 Australian banknote at Vision Australia in Kooyong yesterday.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) unveiled the new $20 banknote, which includes three raised bumps on each of the long edges of the banknote, allowing people who are blind or have low vision to identify the note with ease. The banknote will enter public circulation on 9 October.
“These tactile features enable the 350,000 Australians who are blind or have low vision to now accurately and easily identify the cash they are handling, like the rest of the community, and that’s how it should be,” Vision Australia government relations and advocacy manager Chris Edwards said.
“Without the tactile marking, many people who are blind or have low vision relied on a mobile phone app or a small device to measure the size of banknotes, which vary by a few millimetres. These solutions are fiddly, time consuming and impractical.
“We commend the RBA for responding to the needs of people who are blind or have low vision and demonstrating that accessibility is not something that should be put in the too hard basket.”
The inclusion of a tactile feature on all new $20 banknotes is the culmination of campaigning by Vision Australia, the blind and low vision community, and advocate Connor McLeod who launched a successful change.org petition in 2014.
“I am very pleased to showcase the new $20 banknote, to be released next week, together with Vision Australia. As with the $5, $10 and $50 denominations released over the past couple of years, the new $20 banknote has been redesigned,” RBA assistant governor Lindsay Boulton said.
“The new design includes innovative security features and a tactile feature to those who are blind or have low vision to identify the denomination of the banknote and use it with confidence.
“The Reserve Bank of Australia is extremely grateful for the assistance and support from the blind and low vision community to improve the accessibility of Australia’s banknotes.”
The new $20 banknote follows follows the release of new $5, $10 and $50 notes in 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively.
Full details of the design and security features on the new $20 banknote, and other denominations, are available on the RBA's website at www.banknotes.rba.gov.au
You can hear a special extended Talking Vision this week with the recording of the reveal of the new $20 tactile banknote, featuring the speeches from Vision Australia board member and master of ceremonies Bill Jolley, MP for Higgins Katie Allen, Reserve Bank assistant governor of business services Lindsay Boulton and Royal Flying Doctors general manager of marketing and fundraising Marie Quirke.