There are approximately 4.7 million people with disabilities in Poland who may struggle with accessibility restrictions. For many years, Santander Bank Polska has been taking steps to ensure that financial services are accessible to people with special needs. The Day of Tolerance, Human Rights and European Integration and the Day for Combating Discrimination of People with Disabilities are a good occasion to pay special attention to such needs.
On 5 May, the Council of Europe celebrates the „Day of Tolerance, Human Rights and European Integration”, while also celebrating the Day for Combating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities. People with disabilities face many obstacles, and yet each company can do a lot on its own to make their daily lives easier. At Santander Bank Polska, understanding and empathy go hand in hand with identifying and implementing solutions that respond to different needs and preferences. The bank tries to create an inclusive working environment and influence the financial world, where diversity becomes the intellectual and emotional strength of the organization.
For many years, Santander Bank Polska has been running the „Barrier-free service” programme to improve its accessibility for people with different needs. Over 30% of Santander Bank Polska’s branches have a certificate granted to branches without architectural barriers. In all of the bank’s branches there are priority service desks for people with visible disabilities, which can also be used by pregnant women and seniors. In many branches, customers have access to portable induction loops, which improve the comfort of conversation for people with impaired hearing and hearing aids. In 2017, Santander Bank Polska was the first bank in the country to introduce such devices in selected branches.
The Bank is also systematically developing a network of „talking” ATMs and currently operates 1350 devices of this kind. In addition to voice support, they facilitate withdrawal of funds, card activation or PIN change and have high-contrast displays or the function of a complete screen fade. The list of such ATMs is available in the search engine of bank outlets and ATMs.
Customers can also handle matters in the Polish sign language via the video channel. The bank audits its online and mobile banking platforms for accessibility for people with disabilities.
In addition, since last year, customers can use the so-called available, non-personalised documents in many different formats: pdf, audio, video in Polish sign language or printouts in Braille.
Improvements in service standards are not the only inclusive banking activities. The Bank organizes financial workshops, cooperates with schools and universities, integration centres, non-governmental organisations and local authorities. The Bank is willing to participate in local initiatives supporting people with disabilities in their extra-professional interests.
Differently Abled at Work
Santander Bank Polska is a signatory to the Diversity Charter and fully supports this idea, and as an employer it is also committed to implementing the provisions of the Charter in its daily operations.
The aim of the Differently Abled Project is to increase employment of people with disabilities. To this end, the Bank undertakes a number of educational and activating measures to support and educate people with disabilities in the work environment.
Through the Barrier-Free Service programme created in cooperation with foundations working for the benefit of people with disabilities and the through the Differently Abled project, Santander Bank Polska is effectively involved in preventing social and economic exclusion. Overcoming barriers, especially those in access to financial services. The Bank helps to integrate people with disabilities into barrier-free everyday banking, which is obvious to most people, but still not to everyone. For more information about Barrier-free service go to www.santander.pl/obb. The web page was designed in accordance with the WCAG 2.0 standard which is a collection of recommendations on how to make published content accessible to the widest possible audience.
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