NOT JUST GOOD FOR BUSINESS
Vision Australia recently assisted ANZ to gain feedback on new design features of debit and credit cards. Features such as high-visibility leading edges, tactile indicators and contactless payment technology will be introduced in 2016 to help customers who are blind or have low vision.
VA said participants commended ANZ on taking a step forward in making the cards more accessible. In addition, the accessible features were seen as making the cards more accessible for others, such as the elderly or people who have trouble reading.
“You just don’t expect it because we’re just used to the world not being made accessible for us at all,” one participant said.
Barclays Bank in the UK has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a strong commitment to improving accessibility.
Barclays offers a range of accessible banking services to provide support for its customers and promotes these via its website, social media and advertising.
Barclays’ “Digital Eagles” program targets elderly customers and supports them to build confidence to use computers and the internet in a welcoming environment. This is going a long way to help Barclays connect customers and the community with banking and the latest technology, in turn creating real and lasting value.
CHANGING THE GAME
Advances in technology are affording greater potential for creating accessible services for customers with a disability.
In the past, people with vision impairment needed special, expensive, software to read screens on computers. Since the proliferation of smartphone technology, Apple and Google have continued to imbed and improve accessibility features into their software (and it's free!).
Smartphone devices have changed the way people with vision impairment live, offering greater independence and mobility. For example, magnification apps help people with low vision read labels and there are ‘virtual’ eyes apps able to recognise faces and even the expressions people have.
Apple has had a long-running commitment to accessibility and its products offer a variety of assistive technologies as standard. VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader to Mac, IOS devices, Apple Watch and Apple TV which lets users who are blind or have low vision control their device. Siri and Dictation can help them type, launch apps, and read calendars.
Those who have hearing or speech difficulties can communicate nonverbally via video calls using sign language and facial expression. People with physical and motor challenges can use AssistiveTouch in iOS to enter common Multi-Touch gestures, like pinch, with just one finger.