23 September is International Day of Sign Languages. Santander Bank Polska has been ensuring accessibility to all customers for many years. It has offered inclusive solutions for people with individual needs, including a sign language service.
In Santander Bank Polska deaf people can communicate to the advisors remotely for 8 years. Such a connection is available in every branch, in internet and mobile banking, as well as on the website in the "Help and contact" tab.
– We cooperated with experts who audited and certified availability, while working on the implementation of remote service in Polish sign language. For many years, we have been observing a rising interest in services provided in the sign language; therefore we make every effort to ensure that the availability and scope of the service meet the expectations of deaf people – says Joanna Wcisło, Head of Multichannel Communication Centre, Santander Bank Polska.
Selected Santander Bank Polska branches offer portable induction loops to support customers wearing hearing aids. Customers can order non-personalized documents, e.g. video recordings of agreements or regulations in the Polish sign language. The bank's adverts, available on the Barrier-Free Banking Programme website and on YouTube are also adapted to the needs of deaf and blind people.
Not every deaf person knows and understands Polish, and not everyone can lip-read. The Polish Sign Language is the natural way of communication for deaf people.
– The International Day of Sign Languages is a day of respect and recognition of this way of communication of deaf people all over the world. Often, when learning foreign languages, we are completely absorbed, fascinated by the structure, particularity, and the construction of the language. For years, the sign language has been considered to "help" deaf people in contact with the surrounding world. 4 At present 430 million people need support due to hearing loss; this number will go up to 700 million in 2050. Therefore, this is not a problem limited to a small group of people in our country but a growing social issue. I encourage you to investigate the beauty of the sign language; without treating it purely as a way of rehabilitation or contact with the environment. You will be surprised about how much you learn and discover, and how much impact it will have. – said Tomasz Smakowski, the President of the Świat Głuchych (the World of the Deaf) Foundation.
More information about barrier-free banking: https://www.santander.pl/ws-obsluga-bez-barier/.