MBNA empowers consumers with disabilities with eSSENTIAL Accessibility

MBNA Canada Bank (MBNA), Canada’s largest issuer of MasterCard credit cards, announced today a new alliance with eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ to feature assistive technology that extends the bank’s online services to Canadians with physical disabilities. It is part of a Disability Community Involvement initiative sponsored by March of Dimes Canada.

eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ and March of Dimes Canada are leading this initiative by bringing organizations together to connect with and empower the disability community in a meaningful way. eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ allows organizations to make expensive assistive technology available to all for free, thereby extending access to important online information and services to more Canadians.

MBNA is the first Canadian financial institution to integrate this program into their day-to-day services. The Canadian Bankers Association, which works on behalf of 51 domestic and international financial institutions and advocates for effective public policies in banking that benefit Canadians and the Canadian economy, has also recently joined the initiative.

“MBNA is committed to providing the best possible access to our services for all of our customers through our online banking services,” says Debra Armstrong, president and CEO of MBNA. “We are proud to be the first bank in Canada to work with eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ in this initiative and provide a more comprehensive service to our physically disabled customers.”

Users will now be able to click on the icon located onwww.mbna.ca and use assistive technology to access bank services. The application is available to the more than two million Canadians who have difficulty typing, moving a mouse or reading a web page. It is a virtual wheelchair for websites that empowers users with dexterity limitations that arise from a variety of conditions including stroke, paralysis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease among others. It also helps individuals who have difficulty reading because of literacy deficiencies, limited English proficiency, dyslexia, or mild visual impairment.

“We are very pleased to see MBNA Canada Bank make their services more available to the disability community,” said Andria Spindel, president and CEO, March of Dimes Canada. “March of Dimes Canada encourages and acknowledges all businesses and organizations that create accessibility, foster inclusion and support independence for people with disabilities in Canadian society.”

“Eliminating the digital divide has become increasingly important as essential services migrate online,” said Simon Dermer, managing director, eSSENTIAL Accessibility™. “MBNA Canada Bank, along with other organizations that are joining this initiative, is setting a new standard as they build a bridge to the disability community.”

MBNA Canada Bank

MBNA is the leading Canadian provider of co-brand and affinity credit card programs and is Canada’s largest MasterCard credit card provider. MBNA is endorsed by Canadian member organizations, credit unions and financial institutions, sports associations and educational institutions. MBNA provides financial products and services throughout Canada from its headquarters in Ottawa and offices in Regina. MBNA is an affiliate of Bank of America Corporation.

eSSENTIAL Accessibility™

eSSENTIAL Accessibility™makes online environments instantly accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. It is a virtual wheelchair for websites that empowers users with dexterity limitations that arise from a variety of conditions including stroke, paralysis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease among others. Moreover, it also helps those who have difficulty reading because of literacy deficiencies, limited English proficiency, dyslexia, or mild visual impairment. Organizations feature the eSSENTIAL Accessibility™ icon as part of a Disability Community Involvement initiative sponsored by March of Dimes Canada. The symbol displayed on the homepage acts as a clickable icon through which any visitor can download the assistive technology they require free of charge. For more information visit www.essentialaccessibility.com.

Source: http://www.financialpost.com