Dubai, UAE, 07 March 2021: As part of its long-term commitment to creating a disability-inclusive society, Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region, has reaffirmed its commitment to continue transforming its branch network and operations to provide People of Determination with convenient user experiences.
The bank has integrated also assistive technologies and devices as part of its commitment to further financial inclusion under its #TogetherLimitless platform, the bank’s flagship advocacy programme for people of determination.
Over 60% of Emirates NBD’s UAE branch network provides disability-friendly access. The 43 disability-friendly locations span across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, and the Northern Emirates, and about half of these feature additional disability-friendly branch elements including assistive technologies. The group’s efforts are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and UAE Vision 2030’s goal of building a cohesive society.
To enhance mobility access, the branches are equipped with ramps with handrails, and accessible low-height ATMs, teller desks and cheque writing counters. Tactile floor indicators and disability signage including Braille signage have been installed for ease of direction. The branches also offer priority queuing and a dedicated waiting area that offers a more convenient branch experience to people with disabilities.
In addition to making the facilities more physically accessible, the bank has trained more than 1,800 employees on disability etiquette and understanding sign language across its branches. The bank also uses KinTrans, a technology that enables easy two-way communication between sign language communicators with hearing disabilities and people who use spoken languages. Emirates NBD was the first bank worldwide to pilot this revolutionary technology in 2017.
For the benefit of customers who use hearing aids, select branches have a Hearing Induction Loop system that can be used to communicate with tellers, customer service executives or to attend meetings. This device amplifies sound to more than 50% of hearing abilities and also cuts out unwanted background sounds for clear communication.
The bank also enables customers with visual impairments to open accounts using documents printed in Braille. Additionally, the bank enables customers with low vision or colour blindness to be able to read forms, cheques, and documents comfortably and conveniently through Traveller HD video magnification devices.
As a voice of equal opportunities, Emirates NBD also promotes and contributes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace through its Careers Network Programme in partnership with the Community Development Authority, Manzil and Sustainable Square, employing staff including those with cognitive and physical disabilities to create one of the most inclusive environments that encourages the success of people from all backgrounds.
Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Emirates NBD, said: “We are committed to making banking easier for all and our investments in infrastructure enhancement and assistive technologies are a reflection of this. In addition to being the right thing to do as a society, we believe that the integration of people with disabilities makes economic sense as well as positively impacts talent resourcing and social responsibility.”