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CIBC upgrades site to improve access for the blind

09 October 2009  |  1813 views  |  0 Source: CIBC

With the launch of a suite of new site enhancements today, cibc.com is now the first Canadian bank website to receive CNIB Site Check certification for providing barrier-free web access to people who are blind or have vision loss.

The new accessibility features give clients the ability to increase or decrease text size and further enhance text readability by changing the contrast on any of the pages within  cibc.com. These new features also enhance screen reader compatibility, as clients can navigate easily by text headings, instead of image, and by quick access links that allow clients with screen readers to navigate directly to main content.

"At CIBC, we strive to make our banking channels accessible to all of our clients and we're proud to be the first bank recognized by CNIB's Site Check program," said Christina Kramer, Executive Vice-President, CIBC Retail Markets. "Over 830,000 Canadians live with vision impairment so it's important for us to provide improved online access for all of our clients."

The CNIB Site Check program evaluates the accessibility of websites based upon a range of criteria and gives a passing grade to sites that provide barrier-free web design. In addition to improved accessibility, cibc.com is now easier to use with even more ways to access important information instantly and wider pages loaded with more of the features clients use every day.

"CIBC met and exceeded the accessibility recommendations outlined in our accessibility audit," says John M. Rafferty, CNIB President & CEO. "It is imperative that financial institutions and other corporations take CIBC's lead and implement accessible digital platforms - for people who are blind or have vision loss - to provide equal access to online information for all Canadians."

CIBC has a long history of supporting CNIB across Canada having contributed more than $840,000 over the years. This includes a $300,000 donation to the CNIB Summer Reading Program.

CIBC also offers a number of other accessible banking alternatives for people with vision loss including over 1,700 'Access for All' ABMs which feature headphone jacks for audio access, brighter lighting and the option to black out the screen to increase privacy while at the machine. CIBC clients can also request statements in braille and large print formats and have access to advanced speech recognition (TTY) technology through telephone banking.

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