Wells Fargo Selected for its Leadership in Promoting Accessibility for the Blind or Visually Impaired on wellsfargo.com and Through Its Widespread Talking ATMs
"We are committed to making the user experience for people who are blind or visually impaired meaningful and satisfying—we are committed to expanding access," said Avid Modjtabai, executive vice president and group head of Wells Fargo Internet Services. "It is exciting to receive this award and to help customers to be more independent than ever before."
Wells Fargo's state-of-the-art Web site was re-structured in 2003 to make online access easier for people who are blind or visually impaired—whether they want to conduct online banking and online bill pay or research financial information. In 2003, Wells Fargo was the first financial institution to have its Web site certified by the National Federation of the Blind. Improvements to enhance online accessibility included:
Improvements to enhance online accessibility included:
- An accessibility help page. Customers are now able to determine which browser and screen reader setting enhances access to wellsfargo.com Web pages.
- Pages with invisible skip navigation links. Customers using screen reader software will be able to select these links to go to the main content of a page.
- Pages with invisible accessibility help links. For customers using screen reader software, these links will go to the accessibility help page.
According to 2001 statistics from the American Foundation for the Blind, there are 10 million blind and visually impaired people in the United States. In addition, research from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows that among blind and visually impaired Internet users:
- 87 percent use e-mail/instant messaging;
- 47 percent play games online;
- 82 percent search for information about products and services;
- 53 percent make online purchases;
- 73 percent look for news, weather or sports information;
- 39 percent search for health information; and,
- 31 percent search for government information.
"Wells Fargo takes diversity and accessibility seriously and we're committed to finding ways to better serve all our customers at all of our customer contact channels," said Jonathan Velline, senior vice president, ATM Banking & Market Area Analysis. "We are pleased that our talking ATMs have given people who are blind or visually impaired greater confidence and independence in conducting ATM transactions."
To make Wells Fargo ATMs accessible, Wells Fargo offers:
- Braille on all its ATMs.
- Talking ATMs with voice instructions. Working in collaboration with the California Council of the Blind, Wells Fargo announced a plan in June 1999 to develop and install talking ATMs.
- Free monophonic earphones. These allow private delivery of voice information at talking ATMs, to protect the security of blind and visually impaired users.
- Physical access. Wells Fargo ATMs meet The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) maximum height and reach requirements.
ABOUT WELLS FARGO & COMPANY
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $388 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance from more than 5,900 stores, the internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only "Aaa"- rated bank in the United States.
ABOUT THE NBDC / NCDS
The National Business & Disability Council, a division of the National Center for Disability Services (NCDS), is the leading resource for employers seeking to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace and companies seeking to reach them in the consumer marketplace. The National Business & Disability Council is the proud recipient of the prestigious US Department of Labor's 2003 Exemplary Public Interest Contribution (EPIC) Award.
Founded in 1952, the National Center for Disability Services is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where people with disabilities receive the same treatment as all other people and have equal access to the benefits society offers. With a staff of more than 400, including experts in education, human resources and technology, NCDS has grown to become a global leader in the full integration people with disabilities into everyday life. More information about NCDS and its wide range of services to individuals, organizations and private-sector businesses is available at www.ncds.org.