Celebrating ADA and the Benefits of Accessibility
Creating equal opportunities for people with disabilities to access financial products and services is a benefit to all our members and communities.
Today marks the anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which ensures the rights of millions of people with disabilities to pursue and enjoy the same opportunities available to all Americans. For the past three decades, many in key industries, including financial services, and crucial advocates have been committed to building a nation where people living with disabilities are afforded equitable opportunities, independence and respect in the workplace and as consumers.
I'm proud of the steps we have taken at BECU and will continue to take in making progress toward greater access to financial products and services for people with disabilities. Investing in more equitable systems is a benefit to all our members and communities; with an estimated 18.7% of Americans living with a disability, many of us will either have a disability ourselves or care for someone with a disability in our lifetimes.
We have introduced new technology and options that offer huge opportunities for overcoming barriers to access and communication. For example, last year we launched video banking, ensuring members could reach out to member consultants for a variety of everyday transactions from anywhere, including the comfort of their homes. Over the past few years, we've redesigned our digital services to ensure our mobile banking meets accessibility standards for our blind and visually impaired members, and our user experience teams work every day to set a high standard of accessibility for all our web-based systems. Based upon an idea from one member, we introduced braille and raised embossed credit cards for consumers and businesses in 2021.
I am dedicated to making sure BECU takes even more action in delivering innovative and meaningful services for more communities of people who have traditionally been underserved by the financial industry.
In the workplace, BECU, with the engagement and encouragement of our employee resource groups, actively supports disability inclusion. We are continuously working to improve our hiring processes and accommodation practices to ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities. We also foster awareness for leaders and staff around accommodation and management. These practices and support programs are geared toward building a better future and can empower all the talent that can drive innovation and sustainability.
The ADA was created in 1990, and today's anniversary allows us to highlight the work we have done and the work we will do in the years ahead for the success of not only BECU, but for us as a society and as a nation.