Credit union leads Canada on accessibility

Two branches of credit union Vancity have been rated ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ by the Rick Hansen Foundation.

The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program is the first program to measure the level of meaningful access beyond building code, and is based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing.

Vancity’s Burnaby Heights Community branch and Vancity Centre in Vancouver have been certified gold, making the credit union the first financial institution in Canada to receive the award.

“We’ve always strived to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for our members and employees because it’s not only the right thing to do, it also strengthens our organization and the communities we serve,” said Vancity President and CEO Tamara Vrooman.

Vrooman is also founding co-chair of the Presidents Group, a network of business leaders in B.C. focused on increasing employment opportunities for people with diverse-abilities and creating a more accessible consumer marketplace.

Vancity’s Burnaby Heights Community branch has a broad range of accessibility features including:

  • Fully accessible Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that include grab bars, knee clearance for chair users, accessible buttons, and plugs for head phones;
  • Power doors in all entrances;
  • Contrasting colour flooring and walls for improved wayfinding;
  • A lowered teller counter with a hearing induction loop for employees and members; and
  • Accessible washrooms with inclusive signage

“Vancity has been committed to accessibility for a long time and have been involved in the RHFAC program since its inception,” said Doramy Ehling, CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “People with diverse-abilities experience accessibility challenges daily, and it’s critical that everyday spaces such as those where people do their banking meet everyone’s needs.”


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