Emirates NBD takes lead on training branch staff in Emirati Sign Language

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  • #TogetherLimitless initiative to enhance banking experience of customers with hearing disabilities
  • Ongoing commitment to financial inclusion of people of determination

Dubai, UAE As part of its long-term commitment to the financial inclusion of People of Determination (People with Disabilities), Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region, has started training its branch staff in Emirati sign language (ESL).

Developed by the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, Emirati Sign Language is the first sign language for the UAE dialect, and a unified reference language for those with hearing disabilities in the UAE.

The bank recently completed a pilot workshop to train the first cohort of 17 branch managers as part of an ongoing programme to enhance front-line staff’s ability to better serve customers with hearing disabilities. Led by its flagship advocacy platform #TogetherLimitless, the bank continues its pioneering efforts towards the financial inclusion of People of Determination in the UAE. So far, over 2100 branch staff have been trained in American Sign Language and bank staff continue to receive training on disability etiquette and workplace inclusion.

As part of continuing initiatives to enhance the banking experience for customers with disabilities, Emirates NBD has transformed two-thirds of its branches to be disability friendly as well as introduced several assistive technologies, including ‘KinTrans,’ a technology that enables easy two-way communication between sign language communicators with hearing disabilities and people who use spoken languages, and hearing loops.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to inclusion, Emirates NBD has always taken the lead in empowering People of Determination towards independence in their day-to-day financial lifestyles,” said Marwan Hadi, Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking, UAE at Emirates NBD. “We aim to continue to strengthen our offering for customers with disabilities, with initiatives that enhance and support their banking experience.”  

About #TogetherLimitless:

Since its inception in 2015, #TogetherLimitless, Emirates NBD’s flagship advocacy platform for people with disabilities (people of determination) has undertaken several initiatives for disability mainstreaming including the Careers Network to facilitate workplace inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities, transforming bank branches to be disability-friendly and offering Sanad card holders (privilege access card developed by the Community Development Authority (CDA) for people with disabilities) the Emirates NBD ‘Beyond from Personal Banking’ package, exempt of minimum salary. The bank also runs a long-term social investment programme, PRIDE (People Receiving Independence and Dignity through Empowerment), for people with cognitive disabilities that runs activities of educational inclusion, capacity building, and public awareness. 

About Emirates NBD:

Emirates NBD (DFM: Emirates NBD) is a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region with a presence in 13 countries, serving over 14 million customers. As at 30th June 2021, total assets were AED 694 Billion, (equivalent to approx. USD 187 Billion). The Group has operations in the UAE, Egypt, India, Turkey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Russia and Bahrain and representative offices in China and Indonesia with a total of 905 branches and 4,044 ATMs / SDMs. 

Emirates NBD Group serves customers, businesses, governments and institutions with a range of financial products and services including retail banking, corporate and institutional banking, Islamic banking, investment banking, private banking, asset management, global markets and treasury, and brokerage operations. 

The Group is a key participant in the global digital banking industry with 94% of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The Group also operates E20., a digital business bank for entrepreneurs and SMEs and Liv., the lifestyle digital bank for millennials. Emirates NBD is an active participant and supporter of the UAE’s main development and sustainability initiatives, including financial literacy and the inclusion of people with disabilities. Emirates NBD Group is a Premier Partner and the Official Banking Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai.