(June 13, 2007) — In a move praised by state and national blindness organizations, RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) today announced it has undertaken a nationwide initiative to improve services for RadioShack’s customers with visual impairments. As part of the program, RadioShack will install new point of sale equipment with tactile keypads to protect the privacy and security of visually impaired shoppers and will make improvements to its Web site that will benefit visually impaired shoppers and other customers with disabilities.
Today’s announcement is the result of collaboration between RadioShack and major blindness organizations including the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind, and California Council of the Blind.
Point of Sale Improvements
It is anticipated that by the end of September of this year, every RadioShack store will have the new device, which is designed to protect the financial privacy of blind and visually impaired shoppers. The devices, manufactured by Ingenico (www.ingenico.com), have tactile keys arranged like a standard telephone keypad and plug easily into existing point of sale payment terminals. The new units will allow RadioShack shoppers
who have difficulty reading information on a touch screen to privately and independently enter their PIN, telephone number, and other confidential information.
Blind community representatives praised RadioShack’s plan to upgrade its point of sale devices. “Point of sale devices must have tactile keys so blind people do not have to share their PIN with strangers,” explained Melanie Brunson, executive director of the American Council of the Blind. “Today’s announcement, and the collaboration that led to it, demonstrates RadioShack’s understanding of this fact and its strong commitment to blind and visually impaired customers.”
Web Site Access
Today’s initiative includes RadioShack’s commitment to design www.RadioShack.com in accordance with guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c) (www.w3.org/wai). The guidelines, which do not affect the content or look and feel of a Web site, ensure that Web sites are accessible to persons with a wide range of disabilities. The guidelines are of particular benefit to blind computer users who use screen reader or magnification technology on their computers and who rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse.
“Web site accessibility is of critical importance to both the blind community and to people with disabilities generally,” said Paul Schroeder, vice president, programs and policy group of the American Foundation for the Blind. “We applaud RadioShack’s leadership role in committing to address the accessibility of its Web site, thereby improving the browsing and shopping experience for a broad range of on-line shoppers.”
“The program announced today is one way we can help customers who are blind or visually impaired enjoy a better shopping experience in their neighborhood RadioShack stores as well as on www.RadioShack.com and complements our on-going efforts to improve the shopping experience of all our customers with disabilities,” said Frank Espinoza, vice president-store operations of RadioShack Corporation. “RadioShack would like to thank the American Council of the Blind, the California Council of the Blind, and the American Foundation for the Blind, for their cooperation and expertise in making RadioShack a better place to shop for our customers with disabilities.”
About RadioShack Corporation
RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) is one of the nation’s most experienced and trusted consumer electronics specialty retailers. The company has a presence through more than 6,000 company-operated stores and dealer outlets in the United States, over 100 RadioShack locations in Mexico and nearly 800 wireless phone kiosks. RadioShack’s dedicated force of knowledgeable and helpful sales associates has been consistently recognized by several independent groups as providing the best customer service in the consumer electronics and wireless industries. Operating from convenient and comfortable neighborhood and mall locations, RadioShack stores deliver personalized product and service solutions within a few short minutes of where most Americans either live or work. For more information on RadioShack Corporation, or to purchase items online, visit www.radioshack.com.
About American Council of the Blind (ACB) and California Council of the Blind (CCB)
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. 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. 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 ACB and CCB can be found by visiting www.acb.org and http://www.ccbnet.org/