Wells Fargo California Talking ATM Press Release

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This document is the press release about Wells Fargo’s first Talking ATMs in California. The California Council of the Blind reached an agreement with Wells Fargo without filing a lawsuit. Instead of a lawsuit, the group used Structured Negotiations. Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian were the lawyers. At the time of this press release Wells Fargo was preparing to put in 25 Talking ATMs in California. Today, every Wells Fargo ATM in the United States was a Talking ATM. [Back to Press Release]

The press release about Wells Fargo’s initial Talking ATMs in California was issued as a result of the Wells Fargo California Settlement Agreement. The agreement was the first in the country in which a bank agreed to install Talking ATMs at every location in a single state. It was negotiated using Structured Negotiations by Lainey and co-counsel Linda Dardarian on behalf of the California Council of the Blind and individual members of the blind community. The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) also represented the Claimants.

Simplified Summary of this Document

Wells Fargo, California Council of the Blind Announce 20 Talking ATMs are Up and Running

Wells Fargo Device San Francisco, California (April 19, 2000) — Wells Fargo and the California Council of the Blind announced today that 20 Wells Fargo Talking ATMS are now up and running in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego areas. A list of the Talking ATM locations is at the bottom of this message. Through voice instruction, the new Talking ATMs tell users who cannot read information on an ATM screen how to deposit money, withdraw cash, transfer funds and buy stamps. The ATMs have audio jacks to deliver voice information privately to protect the security of blind and low vision users.

Working with the California Council of the Blind to meet the needs of an important and under-served segment of customers who are vision-impaired, Wells Fargo announced on June 23, 1999, that it would pilot 20 Talking ATMs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles and San Diego counties this year. After the successful completion of the pilot, Wells Fargo will install a Talking ATM at each of the more than 1,500 Wells Fargo ATM locations in California.

Catherine Skivers, president of the California Council of the Blind, said, We are excited that Wells Fargos Talking ATMs in the pilot locations are ready for use by the blind and visually impaired people and we applaud the work that Wells Fargo has done over the past months to make these machines a reality.

We are proud of our commitment to serve our diverse group of customers, including those who are blind or have low vision. We were the first in the country to draw up a plan for developing and installing Talking ATMs and we look forward to testing and rolling them out and to working closely with the California Council of the Blind to improve ATM access for vision impaired customers. — Terri Dial, Wells Fargo’s Head of Retail Banking in California

The California Council, with 46 chapters statewide, is an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind. Four blind individuals; the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Berkeley; the law firm of Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, Oakland; and the Law Office of Elaine B. Feingold, Berkeley; also participated in the planning.

In California, Wells Fargo — a diversified financial services company — provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgages, and consumer finance from more than 1,300 stores and other distribution channels.

20 Pilot Locations for Talking ATMs

Bay Area Metro
  • Berkeley Main, 2144 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley
  • Castro Valley, 3452 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley
  • Danville, 585 San Ramon Valley, Danville
  • Elmwood, 2959 College Ave., Berkeley
  • Hopyard-Hacienda, 4767 Hopyard Rd., Pleasanton
  • Market California, 1 California St., San Francisco
  • North First Street, 1705 North First Street, San Jose
  • Orinda, 80 Moraga Way, Orinda
  • Paseo Padre, 39265 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont
  • San Francisco Main, 464 California St., San Francisco
La Metro
  • Hollywood Main, 6320 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
  • Los Angeles Main, 333 S Grand Ave., LA
  • Miracle Mile, 6245 Wilshire Blvd., LA
  • North Alhambra, 1910 W Main St., Alhambra
  • Whittier Main, 7202 S Greenleaf Ave., Whittier
Southern California Community Region
  • Encinitas, 276-A N El Camino Real, Encinitas
  • La Jolla, 7714 Girard Ave., La Jolla
  • Rancho Bernardo, 16901 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego
  • Solana Beach, 245 Santa Helena, Solana Beach
  • Wells Fargo Plaza, 401 B St., San Diego


For Wells Fargo
Daphne Larkin (415) 396-6020

For California Council of the Blind
Lainey Feingold [phone and email omitted]
Linda Dardarian (510) 763-9800 [email omitted]