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How to choose a deaf-friendly bank

accessibility in banks

When you are deaf, deciding on a bank is more than what financial services the bank has to offer. It is also about accessibility. 

It’s not always easy to know which bank will meet our individual needs, especially in regards to customer services and communication methods.

When looking into services for deaf people on bank’s websites, accessibility isn’t always easy to spot. Here are some tips for finding a deaf-friendly bank:

 Finding a deaf-friendly bank

The majority of banks offer deaf people a range of communication methods, but they may not be accessible for people with all levels of hearing loss. 

For example, Next Generation Text Service, Sign-Video Relay, Textphone and online chat facilities may be available, but these services are for customers who either knows sign language, has a textphone or has internet access at the time of calling.

I was recently in a situation with my previous bank that left me unable to communicate with this. Because of this, I’ve switched to a new bank with better accessibility. 

When researching bank accounts, these are some things you may wish to consider:

  1. Research the bank well. Ask other people with hearing loss for recommendations and look on their website for specific information for customers with hearing loss.
  2.  Book an appointment with an advisor to discuss your individual requirements (You may also wish to request the meeting to be held in a quiet room and to have extra time for communication).
  3. Consider the worst case scenario (ie. Being stranded abroad with no money. Would you be able to contact your bank in this instance?)
  4. Look into accessibility fully. Check the bank provides a communication method suited to your hearing loss, rather than generic services for ‘Deaf People’.
  5. Open a nominal account to start with before committing to try the account out.

 

accessibility in banks

A good sign! The bank I choose has an advertisement with a woman with hearing aids.

I now have an account with my new bank to trial their services for deaf people. I will do this before switching all my accounts across. Hopefully, I can iron out any issues before committing to them permanently.

What suggestions do you have for finding a bank that is accessible? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Author Details
Ellie was born profoundly deaf, uses verbal communication, lipreads and wears Phonak hearing aids. She is currently learning British Sign Language. Ellie hasn’t let her disability stand in the way and embraces every new challenge. Her deafness didn’t prevent her from achieving major accomplishments in her life, such as excelling in her education, working as a Marketing Executive for a Spa & Health Club, Events and Promotions Staff for a local newspaper as well as blogging for Hearing Like Me. She is passionate about deaf awareness, campaigning for equality and helping others through her personal blog as Deafie Blogger.
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Ellie was born profoundly deaf, uses verbal communication, lipreads and wears Phonak hearing aids. She is currently learning British Sign Language. Ellie hasn’t let her disability stand in the way and embraces every new challenge. Her deafness didn’t prevent her from achieving major accomplishments in her life, such as excelling in her education, working as a Marketing Executive for a Spa & Health Club, Events and Promotions Staff for a local newspaper as well as blogging for Hearing Like Me. She is passionate about deaf awareness, campaigning for equality and helping others through her personal blog as Deafie Blogger.
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