Banks launch sign language training platform for employees

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Banks launch sign language training platform for employees


Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) CEO Habil Olaka speaks at a past event. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

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Summary

  • The platform dubbed eLimu will be hosted on a website and mobile application containing self-study tools with 100 words and common terminologies of the banking environment with video demonstrations and notes.
  • According to 2019 census statistics, 2.2% of Kenyans live with some form of disability.
  • The app has been developed and will be moderated by Deaf eLimu Plus Ltd, a deaf-owned startup that provides innovative educational products and sign language tutorial services.

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has set up an online platform to train workers in the banking environment sign language to help improve access to financial services for the deaf.

The platform dubbed eLimu will be hosted on a website and mobile application containing self-study tools with 100 words and common terminologies of the banking environment with video demonstrations and notes.

According to 2019 census statistics, 2.2% of Kenyans live with some form of disability. Of this population, only 0.5 percent are included in the formal financial system although inclusion has reached 82.9 percent.

“People with disabilities are one of the most underserved segments of the population in all jurisdictions. Despite the progress made through initiatives to promote access to financial services over the past two decades, financial inclusion has not sufficiently reached our customers with disabilities, ” said KBA Managing Director Habil Olaka.

The app has been developed and will be hosted by Deaf eLimu Plus Ltd, a deaf-owned startup that provides innovative educational products and sign language tutorial services, with funding from KBA and FSD Kenya.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said the app would improve access to financial services for deaf people and called on banks to further improve access by providing more personalized solutions targeting the community.

The new platform is based on the recommendations of the KBA Disability Digital Accessibility Project.

“The project proposals are broad in scope and address a wide range of challenges facing bank customers with disabilities, including independent access to mobile banking apps, online banking channels, banking websites, bank statements and ATMs, ”said Dr Olaka.

In order to improve access to banking services, the KBA has recommended that lenders train their staff who deal with clients on disability etiquette and basic Kenyan sign language.

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