The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has announced that Michigan residents who are blind or visually impaired can now apply to receive an iBill Talking Banknote Identifier (currency reader) for free through the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library.
The currency reader, a small handheld device that can identify U.S. denominations in circulation including $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100, has three options for identification: clear natural voice, a pattern of tones, or a pattern of vibrations for privacy. Those interested in applying for this currency reader can contact the library by phone (by calling 1-800-992-9012) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and staff members will assist with the application process and answer questions. The currency reader will be mailed to the applicant the next business day. The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, within LEO’s Office of Employment and Training, offers services and resources to support blind and visually impaired Michigan residents, including the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library.
Watch the following video to learn more about the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier.
Even though this was officially announced by the State of Michigan, all eligible blind and visually impaired US Citizens and national residents can receive a free currency reader through the Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP) as part of the Meaningful Access Program. Go to the Currency Reader Application Forms website to download the forms in English or Spanish.
If carrying a physical handheld device is not an option, you can also look at apps like Seeing AI that can detect currency bills as well among other things.