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Financial Services

Audience: Bank staff
Runtime: 1.06 min.
Focus: Tien Hoang on communication access within banking services

The following information is intended to provide a starting point to improve access to services for people with speech and language disabilities, not caused by hearing loss. It is by no means a full comprehensive list of barriers or accommodations. It presents some of the unique challenges that people with SLDs may experience within this situation.

Contact us for more information on making your services accessible.

Sample Communication Access Barriers for Financial Services

Many of us who have Speech and Language Disabilities (SLDs), experience the same barriers as people who have mobility, sensory and other disabilities. In addition, we may experience unique communication barriers due to our speech and language disability. These barriers may include:

  • Cashiers making assumptions that we cannot understand what they are saying
  • Cashiers assuming we have a hearing loss and speaking too loudly about our private banking matters
  • Cashiers not being able to communicate with us about withdrawals, transfers and deposits
  • Not being able to physically access banking machines if we have a physical disability
  • Not being able to use telephone banking services
  • Not having accessible forms that we can read and understand
  • Cashiers not accepting our alternate signing procedures
  • Not being able to use a phone prompt system to activate credit cards

Suggestions for Financial Services

In addition to generic communication access accommodations, people who work in services should:

  • Have communication policies, procedures and training for staff who interact with the public on how to communicate with customers who have SLDs
  • Implement procedures to use an approved communication assistant in person and over the telephone. This may involve having a signed document, password, or personal identity number to identify our communication assistant and procedures to ensure that we are present and communicating via our assistant.
  • Implement procedures to authorize alternate and / or assisted signatures. This may involve having a signed document to identify our communication assistant and a procedure to witness all assisted signatures.
  • Provide alternate access or secure assistance when using bank machines.
  • Provide alternate ways to activate credit cards.

Resources for Financial Services

Suggestions for People with SLDs

  • Be prepared to tell staff how we communicate and what they can do to make communication go smoothly (Communication Access Card)
  • Negotiate security procedures with management if we need to use a communication assistant over the phone or to sign documents
  • Ensure we have the vocabulary that we need to communicate about our financial business, either in our device or on our communication board

Resources