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New ECCB banknotes will aid visually impaired persons

Published:Wednesday | April 10, 2019 | 12:28 AM
Visually impaired Shavane Daley (left), who was among producers awarded at the Jamaica Festival Song 2018 grand finals. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is introducing polymer banknotes that will be user-friendly to the visually impaired.
Visually impaired Shavane Daley (left), who was among producers awarded at the Jamaica Festival Song 2018 grand finals. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is introducing polymer banknotes that will be user-friendly to the visually impaired.

The St Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) says the new banknotes that will go into circulation in June will contain features that will assist visually impaired persons in the subregion.

The ECCB said that it will begin circulating the new polymer banknotes with the EC$50 note in June, followed by the EC$100, EC$20 and EC$10 banknotes in August and September.

Acting director in the ECCB Currency Management Department, Rosbert Humphrey, said that the polymer banknotes will have an increased number of security features that will reduce their susceptibility to counterfeiting.

Humphrey said that a texturised feature was also added to make the notes user-friendly to the visually impaired.

“The tactile features are some raised bumps on the notes. They form shapes so that blind and visually impaired persons are able to feel them and know which notes are in their possession,” Humphrey said, adding that the each banknote will have a special marking.

“We recognise that in the Eastern Caribbean, not many blind and visually impaired persons can read Braille, so it would be a disadvantage to them if we actually put Braille on the banknotes because they won’t recognise what the features are, so we decide to put something that the blind and the visually impaired and the general public can relate to.”

The ECCB serves as the central bank for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Anguilla.

Humphrey said he was also urging people not to crumple the new banknotes.

“The banknotes have memory, so those crisps to the banknotes can cause them to be unfit for circulation in quick time. We do not want persons to iron the banknotes either because, unlike the paper banknotes, these notes would be damaged.”

CMC