Accessibility 101 for Financial Institutions

Online banking, stock trading, loan shopping, and money management
have changed the way we connect with our finances.
You don’t have to put on pants and go to the bank to deposit a check.
Neither should a person with disabilities.

Real Customers. Real Issues.

hands holding mobile device

The mobile app for online banking disables the pinch-to-zoom feature, making it impossible for a woman with low vision to check her balance.

A video has voiceover but no captions or transcript, so a deaf customer is unable to learn about the types of mortgages a lender offers.

The help area of a bank website uses screenshots without alt text, so a customer who is blind cannot “see” what he is supposed to do to sign his account up for text message updates.

The ADA & you

The Law: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III

First passed: 1990

Recent court decision: 2017

Applies to: “Places of public accommodation.” In the past, this was not interpreted to mean websites, but with the recent 2017 judgement against Winn-Dixie, we expect to see more litigation in this space.

Requires: Financial services organizations must provide accommodations for people with disabilities.

Read more about ADA Title III cases and settlements.

1 in 5 people has a disability that affects their daily life.

What is accessibility?

Braille Computer Display

Digital accessibility refers to the ability of users with disabilities to effectively use information technology (IT) systems including websites, mobile or web-based applications, software, and hardware. Digital accessibility is generally concerned with ensuring that IT systems are designed in such a way that they interact appropriately with assistive technologies.

Assistive technologies can include:

Screen readers, Braille keypads, or screen magnification software so users who are blind or low vision can read your content.

Voice recognition software that helps those with mobility disabilities (even arthritis) navigate the web and type using only their voice.

Head pointers and switch devices that allow those with more limited movement navigate without using their hands or a traditional mouse.

Why Accessibility?

Some of our elders remember the days when a computer filled an entire room. Now, we have computers in our pockets. So many aspects of our lives are made easier by technology.

Yet, those with disabilities are often left out when hardware, software, websites, and apps are designed without a thought for their needs.

A tablet at the doctor’s office has a sign-in program that disables the pinch-to-zoom feature, making it impossible for a woman with low vision to fill out her medical history.

An online learning portal uses automatically-generated captions on their videos, leaving a deaf student at a loss for words. Literally.

A retail website does not include alt text on their product images, so a shopper who is blind cannot “see” what the images show about the laptop bag he wants to buy.

By some estimates, one in five people has a disability that affects their daily life. Having equal access to technology has a profound, enabling effect for people with disabilities.

1 in 5 people has a disability that affects their daily life.

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