Wells Fargo reaches settlement that will guarantee equal access

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Thursday, 2 June 2011 13:18pm

The United States Justice Department and Wells Fargo & Company have reached a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act which will ensure equal access to all Wells Fargo services, including website services, for people with disabilities.

Wells Fargo has been the subject of numerous complaints by Deaf and hearing impaired people, as well as people with speech difficulties, many of which related to the company’s refusal to use the telecommunications relay service.

As part of the settlement, Wells Fargo will ensure that its 10,000 retail and banking stores, over 12,000 ATMs, and phone and website services will be fully accessible. It will also pay US$16 million in compensation to individuals, and a US$55,000 civil penalty to the United States.

Steps which Wells Fargo will undertake as part of the settlement include the following:

  • All physical barriers to access will be removed from retail stores.
  • Auxiliary aids and services such as qualified sign language interpreters, computer assisted real time transcription (CART), and readers and documents in Braille will be provided.
  • Policies on effective communication with the Deaf and hearing impaired, and blind and vision impaired, will be adopted and enforced.
  • Telecommunications relay service and TTY calls will be accepted from customers.
  • Website accessibility will be improved as well as the accessibility of ATMs for people with disabilities.

The press release detailing the settlement is available on the United States Department of Justice website.

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