This CVS press release announces a legal agreement signed by CVS with the American Council of the Blind (ACB), the American Foundation for the Blind and the California Council of the Blind (CCB). In the the CVS accessible web site and point of sale agreement, CVS agreed to install tactile point of sale devices at thousands of U.S. stores so that blind people do not have to disclose their PIN when using a debit card. CVS also agreed to make changes to its website to make it easier for people with disabilities to use the site. Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian were the lawyers for the blind community, using Structured Negotiations to achieve this agreement.
CVS/pharmacy Enhancing Accessibility for the Visually Impaired To Its Web Site and Store Point of Sales Devices
Initiative Announced In Collaboration with State and National Organizations for the Blind
Woonsocket, Rhode Island (July 30, 2009)– CVS/pharmacy, the nation’s largest retail pharmacy, announced today that it is implementing functional improvements to benefit its customers with visual impairments and other disabilities. The Company has installed tactile keypads in all CVS stores and it will enhance its website in 2009.
Today’s announcement is the result of a collaboration between CVS/pharmacy, the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind and California Council of the Blind. CVS/pharmacy’s actions were applauded by these groups.
We are pleased to collaborate with organizations committed to advocacy for the blind and introduce service enhancements in our stores and online that will increase access for our visually impaired customers. —Helena Foulkes, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of CVS Caremark
Point of Sale Improvements
CVS/pharmacy’s point of sales improvements are designed to assist customers who cannot read information on a flat screen point of sale device and therefore cannot privately enter their PIN or other confidential information. All CVS stores have been equipped, at a minimum, with a tactile device at both the front check-out counter and the pharmacy counter to ensure that customers unable to use a flat screen keypad do not have to provide their PIN to a store employee. The Company is also training its store employees to provide appropriate interaction with visually impaired customers regarding the use of the new tactile devices.
“Without tactile keys, blind and visually impaired people have no choice but to share their PINs 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 CVS/pharmacy’s ongoing commitment to its blind and visually impaired customers.”
Web Site Access
The initiative includes CVS/pharmacy’s commitment to ensure that its online pharmacy, www.cvs.com, is accessible to persons with a wide range of disabilities, including blind computer users who use a screen reader or magnification technology on their computers and those who rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse. CVS.com will implement these enhancements by the end of 2009.
“An accessible web site is crucial if people with vision loss are to obtain goods, services and information on an equal footing,” said Paul Schroeder, vice president, programs and policy group of the American Foundation for the Blind. “We appreciate CVS/pharmacy’s commitment to ensure that CVS.com is usable by the broadest range of online consumers, including those who have disabilities.”
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America’s largest retail pharmacy with more than 6,900 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs store locations. CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at www.cvscaremark.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.
About American Foundation for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB’s priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the over forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit AFB online.
American Council of the Blind
American Foundation for the Blind