Making It Accessbile To All - ADA

Last night in the grocery store at the ice cream freezer (certainly not an area in the grocery I need to frequent, but tempting in the hot, humid South), I saw a very elderly and frail woman.

It was very obvious this poor lady had vision, strength, and reaching issues; yet, there was no on around to assist her. I offered to lend a hand and gave her some ice cream options. The one she selected was right at the top of the freezer. Without my help, I am certain she could NOT have opened the freezer door, let alone reached the ice cream she wanted.

In our financial institutions, because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to just do what is right, we want to ensure accessibility.

We want to make sure that our physical facilities, our website and even our services are as accessible to individuals with disabilities as is practical and reasonable. The ADA has specific physical facility requirements with which we must comply.

We want to ensure our staff is aware of proper response and handling of issues related to service animals.

We want to ensure our third party service vendors consider accessibility in provided services. On our website, we should consider providing accessibility information and a process for reporting website access problems and obtaining assistance. We might even, on our website, want to give consideration to WCAC 2.0 web guidelines (World Wide Web Consortium), or other website guidelines from regulators, the Department of Justice or other government entities.

In hiring and employment, we would not fail to consider hiring an individual with a disability, as long as the disability did not preclude performing the job function. Also, we want to make all reasonable efforts to accommodate all current and potential employees with a disability.

Finally, we want to ensure any disability-related complaints are included in our formal complaint process and documentation.

Beyond all the above, if you have a customer with a physical disability, just do all you can within reason to assist them. Sometimes it just all boils down to being there to assist.

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