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 Safeway Installs New Equipment to Protect Financial Privacy of Shoppers With Visual Impairments

 

The press release below is the result of an agreement between Safeway, the American Council of the Blind, the California Council of the Blind, and the American Foundation for the Blind.  The agreement was reached as a result of Structured Negotiations, a legal advocacy method that emphasizes collaboration and avoids litigation.  The Safeway tactile point of sale agreement is the twenty fourth legal agreement reached on accessible technology between the blind community and the private sector through the Structured Negotiations process.

October 31, 2006 12:00 PM Eastern Time

Blind Community Leaders Applaud Safeway's Commitment

PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a move praised by state and national blind organizations, Safeway (NYSE:SWY) today announced that it has begun installing equipment to protect the privacy and security of Safeway shoppers with visual impairments. The new devices plug into existing point of sale payment machines and have tactile keys arranged like a standard telephone keypad. They will allow Safeway shoppers who have difficulty reading information on a touchscreen to privately and independently enter their PIN, telephone number, and other confidential information.

Safeway operates stores across the country under the banners Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Genuardis, Dominicks, Pakn Save Foods and Carrs stores. Every Safeway store in California has already been equipped with several of the devices, and they will be installed across the country over the next 12 months.

Todays announcement is the result of collaboration between Safeway and major blindness organizations including the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind and the California Council of the Blind. ACB and CCB are membership organizations with thousands of members across the country and in California who will benefit from Safeways commitment, said Jeff Thom, President of the CCB. Carl Augusto, President and CEO of the AFB, also praised Safeways announcement: Today's announcement by Safeway demonstrates the Company's commitment to the privacy and convenience of its blind and visually impaired customers.

Safeway has a long history of supporting our communities and people with disabilities. This decision is one way we can help customers who are blind or visually impaired experience a better shopping experience in every Safeway store throughout the country, said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President Chief Strategist and Administrative Officer.

According to the website of the American Foundation for the Blind, there are approximately 10 million blind and visually impaired people in the United States.
 

About Safeway

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. The company operates 1,767 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $38.4 billion in 2005. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.
 

About the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the California Council of the Blind (CCB)

The American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country, with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates. The California Council of the Blind is the California affiliate of the ACB, and is a statewide membership organization, with 40 local chapters and statewide special interest associations. The ACB and CCB are dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. More information about the ACB and CCB can be found by visiting www.acb.org and http://www.ccbnet.org/.

About the American Foundation for the Blind

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the over forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit us online.
 

CONTACTS:

Safeway Inc.
Brian Dowling, 925-467-3787
Teena Massingill, 925-467-3810
or
AFB, ACB, CCB
Lainey Feingold, 510-548-5062
lfeingold@earthlink.net
Linda Dardarian, 510-763-9800
ldardarian@gdblegal.com
 

 

 

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