News & Media

Banking on a more inclusive experience

21 October 2020

A small investment at the Bank of Melbourne has changed the way people with hearing impairments can do their banking.

A woman speaks to a bank teller.

Portable desktop hearing loops were rolled out in some Bank of Melbourne branches, allowing people who wear hearing aids to interact independently with staff, without needing a quiet space.

A hearing loop is a sound system that cuts out unwanted background noise, so only relevant sound goes directly into a person’s hearing aid.

Portable desktop hearing loop.

A hearing loop cuts out unwanted background noise.

Bank of Melbourne introduced the system for its Ballarat branch in early 2019 after completing an accessibility self-assessment. With customers making regular use of the device, it was soon made available in a number of other branches.

Bank of Melbourne also rolled out staff training on interacting with people who have complex communication needs, to complement the introduction of the hearing loops.

“For Bank of Melbourne, technology and physical access were a significant part of the approach. But it was just as important to create a culture where people with disability are served in a way that suits their needs,” Bank of Melbourne Regional Executive Brendan Grenfell says.

Find out more at bankofmelbourne.com.au/accessibility

Front cover of report.

Keen to learn more about accessibility and inclusion?

Latrobe Community Health Service has released a discussion paper for any organisation looking to better include people with disability. Improving accessibility and inclusivity of people with disability in a community and mainstream setting is based on the voices of 600 Australians living with disability and their carers. Download the full report here.