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CINCINNATI - The American Foundation for the Blind has said it will present its 2003 Access Award to The Kroger Co. for building a new store in suburban Cincinnati that makes shopping safer and more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired.
The AFB's annual award, which will be presented Feb. 20, 2003 at a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles, recognizes efforts to eliminate or substantially reduce inequities faced by people who are blind or visually impaired.
"We are delighted to honor Kroger for providing a safe, convenient shopping experience for people with visual impairments," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "The new Kroger store in North College Hill significantly increases a person's independence when it comes to the ordinary task of grocery shopping. We hope that other retailers will follow Kroger's lead in addressing the needs of this growing segment of the population."
A year ago, Kroger laid out plans to build a new supermarket in North College Hill, which is located approximately 10 miles north of downtown Cincinnati. Since the store would be located just a few blocks away from Clovernook Center for the Blind, Kroger worked closely with Clovernook officials to address the needs of individuals with visual impairments through physical adjustments in the store and special employee training. Among the accommodations:
-- Textured sidewalks near three entrances provide special markings to aid individuals in crossing high-traffic areas
-- Weekly sales flyers printed in Braille by Clovernook
-- Lowered aisle markers with white lettering on black background to assist individuals with poor vision in locating aisles and products
-- Employees who are trained in the Human Guide Technique.