Braille Monitor                                             March 2016

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New Accessible ATM Installed at Jernigan Institute

Since the introduction of the automated teller machine (ATM), the blind of the nation have been fighting for access to the cash and other services these devices provide. At first we were told there was no product for the banks to buy, and they blamed the manufacturers. We were then told by the manufacturers that there was no demand and that we must go to the banks. Next, we were told that the cost of modifying the hundreds of thousands of machines would be prohibitive and that requiring every ATM to be accessible was an unreasonable demand. When our lawsuits and negotiations got the industry and the government to take notice, we then had to suffer the jokes about those crazy people who wanted to put Braille on drive-up ATMs. Slowly, however, we began to reach settlements with banks, and while many ATMs are owned by major banking institutions, many are privately owned. Such is the case with Cardtronics, a company which owns and operates more than 53,000 ATMs across the country.

As reported in the August-September 2015 issue of the Braille Monitor, the National Federation of the Blind reached an amicable settlement with Cardtronics, and one of the promises made by the company was the installation of an ATM at our national headquarters in Baltimore. That machine was installed, and on January 22, 2016, it was officially unveiled and is now available to everyone who works at or visits the Jernigan Institute.

(Left to right) Mark Riccobono stands with Marc Maurer and Randy Rice of Cardtronics as Dr. Maurer prepares to cut the ribbon on the new Cardtronics accessible ATM.

Mark Riccobono receives his cash as he makes the first withdrawal from the new ATM.

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