CHEVY CHASE, Md. Chevy Chase Bank on Thursday announced that it is teaming up with the National Federation of the Blind and the Disability Rights Council for Greater Washington to offer 20 talking automated teller machines in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia during a six-month pilot program.
These machines let visually impaired customers plug in headsets and get oral instructions as they make transactions.
The test is the result of a lawsuit filed against the bank by two groups last year, alleging that Chevy Chases ATMs violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and discriminated against the blind because they were inaccessible.
The bank was singled out because many of its ATMs are in major tourist or business areas.
After the pilot program, the $10.7 billion-asset bank is to install voice-guided technology developed by NCR Corp., a Dayton, Ohio, ATM maker, in 500 of its machines during the next three years.
A number of large U.S. banking companies, including Citigroup Inc., have installed talking ATMs nationwide, and a federal agency recently proposed guidelines that would require ATMs to be equipped with voice-guided technology.