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    Safeway Protects Privacy of Visually Impaired at the POS

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway yesterday began installing equipment to protect the privacy and security of shoppers with visual impairments.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway yesterday began installing equipment to protect the privacy and security of 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 are designed to 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 has a long history of supporting our communities and people with disabilities," said Larree Renda, Safeway e.v.p., chief strategist, and administrative officer. "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,"

    The deployment 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 Safeway's commitment," said Jeff Thom, president of the CCB.

    Every Safeway store in California has already been equipped with the devices, and they will be installed chain-wide over the next 12 months.

    Safeway operates 1,767 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $38.4 billion in 2005.

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