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SHAWMUT BANKS MAKE ATMS ACCESSIBLE TO SPANISH-SPEAKING CUSTOMERS AND TO THE VISIUALLY-IMPAIRED

 HARTFORD, Conn., and BOSTON, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Shawmut National Corporation (NYSE: SNC) announced today that automated teller machines (ATMs) at its Shawmut Bank locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts will be accessible to Spanish-speaking customers and to the visually- impaired.
 "To better serve our customers, Shawmut is enhancing its automated teller machines to address the needs of Spanish-speaking customers and customers who are visually impaired. Our customers represent all walks of life and Shawmut wants to ensure that we serve them all to the best of our ability," said Eileen S. Kraus, head of the Consumer Banking Group for Shawmut National.
 To assist Spanish-speaking customers, Shawmut will prepare 37 of its ATM machines with the capability of presenting instructions in English or Spanish. Twenty-seven of the machines have already been outfitted with Spanish presentation capability. Those 27 machines are located in six Massachusetts cities (Allston, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Framingham, and Worcester) and eight Connecticut cities (Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, Waterbury, West Haven, and Stamford). The locations were chosen because each has a high concentration of Spanish-speaking customers. By the end of August, 10 additional ATMs will offer Spanish presentation. Those 10 machines will be in six cities, two Connecticut cities (New Haven and Norwalk) and four Massachusetts cities (Boston, Framingham, Lawrence, and Southbridge). Other ATMs may be adapted for Spanish presentation in the future as required.
 When customers approach a bilingual ATM, they will be prompted by a screen that will require them to select an English or Spanish presentation. If Spanish is selected, all ATM transaction screens, identical in content to the English presentation screens, will be in Spanish.
 To render machines useful to the visually-impaired, Shawmut has coded each of its 474 ATM machines with a raised number in the lower left-hand corner of the machine work surface, signifying the type of ATM machine the customer is about to use. The raised number corresponds to a series of maps Shawmut has devised for each type of machine in its network. The maps' raised letters and numbers identify the operating features of each machine, such as the keyboard, transaction request keys, money dispensers and receipt printers. Also on the map is a sequence of raised letters that indicate the sequence of actions necessary to perform the most common ATM transaction, a withdrawal from a checking account. An instructional audiotape will be provided to visually-impaired customers to aid them in the operation of Shawmut ATMs.
 Shawmut has contacted visually-impaired customers to let them know of the service. The bank has also notified agencies serving the visually-impaired that it is rendering machines useful so that those agencies can help in disseminating the news. As the visually-impaired learn of this Shawmut service, either directly from the bank or from agencies serving the visually-impaired, they will be asked to call Shawmut's toll-free customer service line, 1-800-SHAWMUT, to obtain a kit of instructional audiotapes and the maps with raised letters and numbers.
 Shawmut National Corporation is a superregional bank holding company with assets of $25.1 billion and dual headquarters in Hartford, Conn., and Boston. The company offers a range of financial products and services to consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses. The company also offers financial services to correspondent banks, governmental entities, insurance companies, and corporate customers based in New England and select national markets.
 -0- 5/11/93
 /CONTACT: Marjorie M. Suea, 617-292-3239 or Brent S. DiGiorgio, 203-240-7632, both of Shawmut/
 (SNC)


CO: Shawmut National Corporation ST: Connecticut, Massachusetts IN: FIN SU:

DD -- NE014 -- 6983 05/11/93 11:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1993
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