January 21, 2020

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American Foundation for the Blind Honors Kroger with 2003 Access Award

Submitted by: Kroger Co.

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Jan 15, 2003 – 11:00 PM EST


National Award Recognizes Kroger Store in Cincinnati Featuring Lower Aisle Markers, Sales Flyers in Braille and Other Accommodations for the Visually Impaired

Jan. 15 /CSRwire/ - CINCINNATI, OH - The American Foundation for the Blind today announced that it will present its prestigious 2003 Access Award to The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) for building a new store in suburban Cincinnati that makes shopping safer and more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired.

The AFB's annual award, which will be presented February 20, 2003 at a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles, recognizes efforts to eliminate or substantially reduce inequities faced by people who are blind or visually impaired.

"We are delighted to honor Kroger for providing a safe, convenient shopping experience for people with visual impairments," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "The new Kroger store in North College Hill significantly increases a person's independence when it comes to the ordinary task of grocery shopping. We hope that other retailers will follow Kroger's lead in addressing the needs of this growing segment of the population."

A year ago, Kroger laid out plans to build a new supermarket in North College Hill, which is located approximately 10 miles north of downtown Cincinnati. Since the store would be located just a few blocks away from Clovernook Center for the Blind, Kroger worked closely with Clovernook officials to address the needs of individuals with visual impairments through physical adjustments in the store and special employee training. Among the accommodations:

* Textured sidewalks near three entrances provide special markings to aid individuals in crossing high-traffic areas
* Weekly sales flyers printed in Braille by Clovernook
* Lowered aisle markers with white lettering on black background to assist individuals with poor vision in locating aisles and products
* Employees who are trained in the Human Guide Technique

"The accommodations and services that Kroger incorporated into this new store have truly made shopping more accessible to people with vision problems," says Cynthia Jackson-Glenn, Clovernook orientation and mobility specialist.

Since opening the store last June, Kroger has received very positive feedback from customers and the community. In fact, AFB sent two visually impaired "mystery shoppers" to the store to evaluate it prior to recognizing Kroger with the Access Award.

"We tried to incorporate as many of the design and service recommendations from Clovernook as possible, from relocating the Bascart rail inside the foyer to working with them to train our employees in the 'human guide' technique," said Bob Hodge, president of Kroger's Cincinnati division. "The AFB Access Award is a tremendous honor for our store management and associates, and we intend to continue working hard every day to serve our customers."

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains. At the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2002, the Company operated (either directly or through its subsidiaries) 2,461 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under approximately two dozen banners including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith's, Fry's and Fry's Marketplace, Dillons, QFC and City Market. Kroger also operates (either directly or through its subsidiaries) 783 convenience stores, 441 fine jewelry stores, 341 supermarket fuel centers and 41 food processing plants. For more information about Kroger, please visit our web site at www.kroger.com

About the American Foundation for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind -- the organization to which Helen Keller devoted her life -- is a national nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate the inequities faced by the ten million Americans who are blind or visually impaired. Through a diversity of programs and initiatives nationwide, AFB addresses the critical issues of literacy, independent living, employment, and access through technology. Headquartered in New York City, AFB maintains offices in Chicago, Dallas, a National Literacy Center in Atlanta, a National Employment Center in San Francisco, a Governmental Relations Office in Washington, DC, and a Technology and Employment Center in Huntington, WV. Visit AFB at www.afb.org.

About Clovernook Center for the Blind
Clovernook Center for the Blind promotes independence and fosters the highest quality of life for people with visual impairments through employment and comprehensive rehabilitation services including training and support for independent living, orientation and mobility instruction, vocational training, job placement, counseling, recreation, and youth services. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Clovernook also has offices in Dayton, Ohio and Memphis, Tennessee. Clovernook Center for the Blind, engaging minds, enabling hands, enriching lives. For more information about Clovernook, please visit www.clovernook.org.

For more information, please contact:

Gary Rhodes Kroger Co.
Phone: +1-513-762-1304
Tony Candela AFB
Phone: +1-415-392-4845


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