Money and Master Card, Independence When Making Purchases

How do you identify money if you’re blind or partially sighted? The discussion has continued for years. While some vision rehabilitation teachers encourage us to fold our money in various ways, others have encouraged locating different bills in a billfold’s different pockets. The key has always been consistency. Choose a method and stick to it.

What happens if you’re in a hurry or you run into a frustrated cashier? I know my tendency has been to pocket that money in hopes of sorting it out later. Truthfully, that’s not a very good idea since I’d need sighted assistance to help with identifying the currency later. Of course, devices like iBill and Seeing AI have given us a leg up on sorting our cash. We can be in a hurry like our sighted friends, pocket the bills, and sort them out later beneath the watchful electronic eye of our smart phone.

Then again, many of us don’t use that much cash, deferring instead to credit, debit, and prepaid cards. Then the key is locating the plastic where you will remember it is so that you can pull it out when grabbing that meal at MacDonald’s or making your purchase at Walgreen’s. Those of us who bank with Chase have used the little chip device for years. The key is locating the faint little place in the plastic where the chip is embedded and putting that into the slot before hitting the little red button to complete your purchase.

Toward this end, Diane Brauner of Perkins E-Learning has written a blog post on the importance of orientation and mobility instructors’ teaching students to handle the card and complete the transaction with as little assistance as possible. Then along comes Master Card who has taken the next step in making purchases that much more accessible and efficient for us who can’t see. Watch this YouTube video to see a confident woman who is blind making her purchase without even asking if she’s using a credit, debit or prepaid card. She’s able to know the difference because of the shape of the niche  in the card’s surface.

Of course, Master Card is doing its best for self-promotion like any good company should. And making this simple adaptation is good promotion for us who value our ability to make purchases on our own. Of course, you’re seeing the confident, well-adjusted blind person in the video. That’s important, too, since the general public can see us in a self-assured pose. Each person learning how to get to this point will do so at his or her own pace. Still, Master Card does a great service by treating people who are blind with dignity and respect.

How do people who are blind identify money, distinguishing one bill or card from another? Now, with advances in smart technology and the simple niches in plastic, the process has become much easier for us

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