When INB was offered the opportunity to volunteer and lead a Financial Wellness workshop for the Educational Center for the Visually Impaired, we didn’t expect to learn so much ourselves.
This was definitely a case of “one thing led to another…” Before we knew it, we were partnering with the ECVI to better serve visually impaired customers at INB.
In 2022, the center received a grant to provide five health and wellness workshops to 20 women affected by visual impairment. INB led the financial wellness session, with Nathan Van Zele, AVP deposit operations, Amy Barnes, AVP Wealth, and myself covering topics like digital banking, fraud prevention, investing and budgeting.
The grant also provided tools to the students for each topic. After meeting with Peggy Dyson, ECVI director, and learning how all of these tools worked, we realized that INB needed to incorporate some of these items to serve those with vision impairment.
I worked with Rory Keylon, our marketing department’s communication coordinator, to put together kits for our branches, along with training for our staff members. Tools in the kit include:
- Magnifying glass
- Signature guide – this helps our customers know where to place their signatures on checks, forms and documents.
- 20/20 pen – these provide high-contrast, rich black color designed for the visually impaired to sign documents and checks.
- High-contrast tray – when providing cash back to visually impaired customers, the colorful tray provides a high contrast so that bills and coins are easily identified and picked up without dropping on the floor.
With each kit, there is a document for branch staff to read that details what the kit is and its contents, other services INB can provide for the visually impaired, and some customer service tips I learned from Peggy and her students.
These tips include helpful advice like using large, bold text in Veranda font for documents, as well as reminders that guide dogs are working and shouldn’t be distracted.
The students in the INB financial wellness session were all great to work with, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to serve visually impaired customers with better accommodations and knowledge!
In addition to the tools in our branch kits, INB also has the following available for customers who need additional help:
- Guideline checks, which are 8 1/8” x 3” with embossed guidelines that are easily felt. They are printed on bright yellow, so they have a good contrast with bold lines and lettering that can be seen easier.
- Our legacy online banking platform is available and compatible with screen reader devices; you can work with a banker to get set up with this.
- Large print statements
- Assisting customers with their free annual credit report: The nationwide credit reporting companies provide their free annual credit report in accessible formats for people who are blind or visually challenged.
Please don’t hesitate to ask for any additional assistance you may need when visiting an INB branch!