Talking ATMS: Ten Years of Accessible Banking Technology

Wells Fargo Device

The press release below announces the tenth anniversary of the first Talking ATM in the United States. As a result of extensive advocacy by the blind community and industry effort, it is estimated that there are now close to 100,000 Talking ATMs in the U.S. and around the world.

The Law Office of Lainey Feingold extends its appreciation to Wells Fargo for its statement below in recognition of the 10 year Talking ATM anniversary, and to all those individuals, organizations, and institutions in both the blind community and the financial industry who have, and continue, to work with and trust the Structured Negotiations process to help advance accessible technology.

Find additional Talking ATM information on the FAQ page of this website. Find articles on Talking ATMs, Talking ATM press releases and Talking ATM Settlement Agreements through the Categories Page on this website.

Simplified Summary of this Document


Talking ATMs: Ten Years of Accessible Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired Community

Washington, D.C. (October 1, 2009) — The American Council of the Blind and its affiliates in California, Massachusetts and around the country, are proud to recognize October 1, 2009 as the 10th anniversary of the first Talking ATM in the United States.

Ten years ago, the first Talking ATM was installed in San Francisco, California. Since that time, ACB and its affiliates, led by the California Council of the Blind, have engaged in extensive Talking ATM advocacy. Today, as a result of that advocacy and the work of ACB members and others, there are tens of thousands of Talking ATMs in the U.S. and around the world.

ACB congratulates blind advocates across the country for persistent effort over the past many years to increase independent and confidential access to financial information and technology.

ACB also congratulates the financial institutions and ATM manufacturers for demonstrating leadership in accessibility technology for the blind community. Wells Fargo, with over 7,000 Talking ATMs, was a leader in installing Talking ATMs:

Wells Fargo was the first financial institution in the country to develop a plan for installing ATMs with voice instruction for the visually impaired, so we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first Talking ATM. Today, we’re proud that all Wells Fargo ATMs are Talking WebATM® machines with voice instructions in English and Spanish. — Alicia Moore, head of Wells Fargo ATM Banking

Other banks who have been champions on this issue since the beginning include Chase Bank (with over 11,000 Talking ATMs) and Bank of America (with over 16,000 Talking ATMs).

Talking ATMs allow blind and visually impaired customers to privately and independently use ATMs. The machines provide spoken instructions for all ATM functions delivered confidentially through a headset. They ensure financial privacy so critical in an era of rampant identity theft. Learn more in the Talking ATM FAQs on this website.

Contacts

American Council of the Blind
Melanie Brunson
202-467-5081

California Council of the Blind
Jeff Thom
916-995-3967

Bay State Council of the Blind
Bob Hachey
781-893-6251

Simplified Summary

This is a press release about Talking ATMs. The first Talking ATM was installed in 1999. Blind people worked with banks and the companies that make ATMs on this issue. Members of the American Council of the Blind worked with many banks using Structured Negotiations instead of filing lawsuits. The banks with the most Talking ATMs are Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase Bank. [Back to Press Release]