Standards of accessibility for person’s with disabilities for banking sector


The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, mandates the Central Government to formulate rules and standards for accessibility in various sectors, including banking. RBI and IBA have issued guidelines ensuring that banking services, including ATM facilities, are available to all, including visually impaired and differently-abled individuals.

Key Highlights of Accessibility Standards and Guidelines

  1. Physical Infrastructure Accessibility:
    • Information or Service Counters: Service counters should be well-laid and located near entrances with guiding indicators for persons with visual impairments. Counters must be accessible to all, accommodating diverse user needs.
    • Tactile Guidance Paths and Handrails: Tactile guidance paths or handrails with Braille plates should be provided for persons with visual impairments.
    • External Ramps: Well-designed ramps should be integrated into the built environment to provide accessible choices for mobility.
  2. ATM Accessibility:
    • ATM rooms should have level entrances with ramps and handrails for support.
    • Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI) tiles leading to ATM machines.
    • Adequate space for wheelchair users and privacy during transactions.
    • Controls and buttons at accessible heights with Braille signs and contrasting colors.
    • Integration of audio support for all information and validation alerts.
  3. Issuance of Credit/Debit Cards:
    • Consider issuing Braille-enabled cards.
    • Offer personalized cards with photographs upon request.
    • Clearly explain terms and conditions before issuance.
  4. Website Accessibility for Visually Impaired:
    • Websites and apps should adhere to IS 17802 (Accessibility for ICT Products and Services) standards.
    • Features include skip-to-content, icons, alternate text, consistent navigation, keyboard support, and customized text size.
    • Contrast schemes and increased text spacing options for enhanced readability.
  5. Training and Sensitization:
    • Bank staff should receive formal training to interact with PwDs sensitively and provide assistance.
    • Training workshops, online courses, and induction programs are essential components.
  6. Other Facilitation Measures:
    • Board-approved policies to facilitate banking services to PwDs.
    • Nodal officers at branches and head offices for PwD-related issues.
    • Focus on addressing complaints and grievances of PwDs.
    • Formation of advisory committees and special provisions in Core Banking Solution (CBS).
    • Periodic reviews and reporting on services for PwDs.
  7. Government’s Role:
    • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ Harmonized Guidelines & Standards for Universal Accessibility.
    • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s guidelines for Information and Communication Technology.

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