A newly designed $50 note with raised dots has been unveiled to blind and low-vision Victorians.
The Reserve Bank of Australia shared the note, which has an accessible tactile feature, with Vision Australia clients in Melbourne this morning, ahead of the cash going into circulation on October 18.
“It equals the playing field for people who are blind or have low-vision, it gives them the independence to be able to buy things at shops, and be confident in what note they’re handing over,” Vision Australia client Chris Edwards said.
The portraits on the note have remained the same, with Australia’s first published Aboriginal author and inventor David Unaipon and the first female member of an Australian parliament Edith Cowan featured.
All of the yellow-toned banknotes feature four raised dots along the long edge to help the blind and vision impaired distinguish between denominations.
The launch comes as more Aussies choose cards over cash. Over the past decade, the amount of payments using banknotes have dropped from 70 percent to 40 percent, however the RBA maintains it will be a “long time” before the nation becomes a cashless society.
“Roughly 45 percent of banknotes (issued in Australia) are $50 notes. They are the note that tends to be used mostly in exchange…and also the note most commonly dispensed by ATMs,” Lindsay Boulton from the RBA told 9NEWS.
The refreshed $50 note follows a new version of the $5 and $10 notes in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
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