ADA Compliance in Banking; Beyond the Wheelchair and Brailled ATMs

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A woman who is blind sitting on a bench with her white cane next to her.ADA compliance is more than just ramps, restrooms, door-frames and Braille on doors and ATM‘s. ADA compliance means that all aspects of banking be accessible to all clients, equally. What good is it getting a client in the door if you do not have accessible documents to meet their needs?

Penalty For Not Being Accessible

Banks have been facing some hefty fines of $50,000 and up per branch for the first offense and over $100,000 and up per branch for subsequent violations. This isn’t including personal damages. Individuals with disabilities have a right to have their banking information private and accessible. Taking away that right takes away their civil rights as individuals. This is not something that is intended by any means, but it is the reality of not being accessible.

With the internet and accessibility of information a judicial ruling, a few poor articles about your company not being compliant with federal laws and consumer reviews can make or break your brand. It is easier to take steps to being compliant before a penalty or ruling than after.

Who Is Entitled To Accessible Services?

Each person who accesses your business, by walking through the door, calling your business or visiting your website is entitled to accessible service. This doesn’t mean you only are required to service your current clients. Oftentimes, banks are compliant with their current clients, but not being accessible to potential clients is an unforeseen violation. Good intentions are no longer an accepted defense against fines and judgments.

Word cloud in the shape of a dollar sign displaying banking and accessibility related words.

Corrective Action; Before a Fine or Judgement

Have a plan of implementation and stick to the plan. Having a plan and proving the plan is being followed can prevent fines and judgments. There is language that allows for implementation of compliance materials to be presented over a reasonable period of time; just make certain the timeline is reasonable.

Website accessibility is the easiest to track and be fined over. It is advised that 508/WCAG 2.0 AA compliance be at the top of your list. Next, all standard forms and documents that deal with terms and conditions of doing business with your company need to be available in an accessible format. Also, all individual banking forms and statements need to be accessible to all clients. Remember, a person’s independence is a civil right.

Look At ADA Compliance in Banking as a Positive

People with disabilities are still in need of banking services. They are still able to purchase stocks, 401k, apply for a credit card or a second mortgage. People with disabilities are consumers and as the population ages and people are living longer it is probable that more of your current clients will eventually require accessible services. Make certain you can market to all clients and potential clients.

Braille, large print and audio bank statements with the words "accessible bank statements needed" displayed.

How Can Braille Works Help?

Braille Works has been in business successfully assisting all industries in becoming fully compliant, for over 20-years. We can assist you in making a timeline and adhering to its implementation. Braille Works is a one-stop ADA compliance shop, for accessible online and offline documents. We offer quality 508 WCAG 2.0 AA compliance for your website documents, Audio, Braille and Large Print services in multiple languages. We are a secure facility exceeding required guidelines; we have a fully operational backup facility with secure offsite document storage. All of the production of materials is done in-house in a Braille Works facility. We can handle any size job and we welcome you to contact us today to experience the difference Braille Works can make for your company, your ADA compliance needs and for your clients.

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This post was written by Christine Sket

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