Why It matters
From money to cards to papers, everything in our wallets is labeled in print and is not accessible to blind and low vision individuals. Learning strategies to keep up with everything that goes in and out of our wallets is key to financial success and general organization. Prepare to have spaces for gift cards or cash received as holiday gifts, and to keep your debit and credit cards organized for holiday shopping!
Most blind and low vision individuals have a personalized system to have their money folded in specific ways so that they can identify the bill value immediately upon touching it. For example, one could choose to have $1 bills folded in fourths, their $5 bills folded in half, their $10 bills folded in eighths horizontally, and their $20 bills folded in eighths vertically. It is important to set aside time to organize your cash so that you are able to identify it readily when you go to reach for it to make a transaction. The Seeing AI app has a currency reading mode that can allow users to identify bills across many different currencies. Check out the Bridges Resource Library Seeing AI entry to learn more about the app. Taking the time to sit down to go through and organize cash with an app, reader, or iBill Talking Banknote Identifier can help you to feel more in control of the money you have and to feel confident in the exact value of each bill.
Luckily, coins are a bit easier to identify tactilely:
- Quarters are the largest coin and have rough edges
- Nickels are the second largest coin and have smooth edges
- Pennies are the second smallest coin and have smooth edges
- Dimes are the smallest coin and have rough edges
We seem to carry more cards than ever, including insurance cards, legal ID, work or student ID, transportation access cards, credit and debit cards, and gift cards. Sometimes, it is easy to tell cards apart. The new REAL ID cards have rough markings on them which make them unique to the touch. Perhaps your insurance card is made of a thinner material than all of your other cards so you are able to tell it apart from the others. Even with these distinctions, there are still likely cards that feel the same and have no notable differences from other cards in your wallet.
Many wallets are designed with layers of card slots in which you can categorize your cards based on your own system. Many people find it helpful to have a specific place for each card so that they always know they are presenting the correct one. As you are still getting used to your card layout system, you may even choose to write it down so that you can refer to it until you are able to find each card in your wallet fluidly. The Bridges Helpdesk is always here to help you brainstorm ways that will work for you to organize your wallet in a way that is personalized and useable.
Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@imagemd.org
- Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546
- Voice mail: Call (410) 357-1546, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.
Updated as of September 8, 2023.