Banking Accessibility

Color Contrast
March 30, 2015
PDF Accessibility
April 14, 2015

Disabilities can affect people in many different ways. Not only can the disability itself cause problems for the person, but also the way that society addresses those with disabilities can be just as problematic. In one area that you may not consider, a serious case of neglect for disabled patrons is occurring, banking. Many institutions neglect to offer services to people with disabilities and in some instances, prevent them from being able to utilizing their services. Although these instances are occurring, there are several steps being taken to eliminate the neglect in the banking world for disabled people.

The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 makes it unlawful to discriminate against people on the grounds of disability. Since December 2nd of 1996, it has been unlawful for service providers, such as banks, to treat disabled people less favorably than others, for a reason that is related to their disability. Since October of 1999, businesses have had to make “reasonable adjustments” for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way in which services are provided. From October 2004, businesses have had to also make further “reasonable adjustments” to any physical features of their premises that make it difficult for disabled people to use their services.

Since these laws have been put into place, the banking industry has been working towards a more accommodating environment for all users. Facilities now make priority of offering accessible entrances, walkways and lobby areas for disabled peoples. Accessible teller counters and easy access safe deposit vaults are only a few of the improved options that are now available to people with disabilities. The goal is to now provide a welcoming environment where customers with disabilities can conduct their routing banking business without undue burden. Employees at several banking institutions are happy to communicate with customers in anyway possible, whether it is through notes or walking the customer through the process if he or she is unable to understand. Employees can also assist by reading bank documents and helping fill out forms for customers. Several banks maintain a network of audio-assisted ATMs that have speech output capabilities for people who are blind or visually impaired. These ATMs also meet the height and reach requirements by the ADA. Along with all of these advancements, many banks continue to assure that online and mobile banking is easy for all of their customers to use, including people with disabilities. They are constantly upgraded to enhance the accessibility and usability of their websites and mobile apps in accordance with the W3C in its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

We all want to make sure that our financial security is well taken care of. Although, some people do not have the luxury of gathering that information whenever they would like. Many banking institutions are working to better the experience for those with disabilities so that they may better serve all of their customers. By creating a seamless usability system for all types of people, banks are eliminating discrimination where some people may not think it even exists.