Community & Purpose
Removing barriers to communication
“It’s important we speak to people in their native tongue and provide people with the opportunity to use their preferred service – this could be by ensuring our customer materials are available through Auslan, Easy Read, an interpreter or a combination of all three.” – Nicole Dunn, Commercial and Private Banking.
Communication barriers are experienced by many Australians.
More than 40 per cent of adults live with low literacy and find it hard to make sense of everyday information*. Literacy is fundamental to participating in many aspects of life as it supports our ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with information.
More than 30,000 Deaf and hard of hearing people use Auslan as their first language and one fifth of the community speak a language other than English at home.
As a bank, we’re committed to providing accessible services for our customers, including those who experience communication barriers. That’s why the ANZ Complaints Guide is now available in a range of languages other than English including Arabic, Korean, Hindi, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Italian and Greek.
Most recently the Guide has been translated into Auslan and Easy Read formats. This will help more customers understand how to raise a complaint and what they can expect from us when they do. The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) has also stated Auslan interpreting is its third-highest language request behind Arabic and Mandarin (Chinese) languages in Australia.
Nikhil Bora is an experience designer at ANZ and worked with Auslan Consultancy to translate and edit the ANZ Complaints Guide into an Auslan video format. As someone who uses Auslan as his first language, Nikhil hopes to see Auslan translations and Deaf awareness normalised and embedded as part of the planning of ANZ customer materials.
“It’s really a win-win because Deaf customers have equal and easy access to the information needed to receive the best service possible,” explains Nikhil. “It also means ANZ has the opportunity to make a positive impact and demonstrate leadership in the inclusion/accessibility space, as an example for other businesses and organisations in Australia and beyond.”
Elisabeth Morgan, who is ANZ’s in-house Auslan/English interpreter, works as a liaison between ANZ’s Accessibility teams and Auslan Consultancy - a Deaf-run Auslan qualified translation, production, training and consulting company.
Elisabeth works closely with Nikhil in the workplace and is an advocate for ensuring our products and services are inclusive and accessible for everyone. “It’s really important to provide equal access to information for the Deaf community in their first language, in the same way that it’s important for other culturally and linguistically diverse groups,” Elisabeth says.
The ANZ Complaints Guide is now also available in Easy Read – a style of writing that helps people with a range of communication needs, including low English literacy, to understand important information. ANZ partnered with the Information Access Group to develop the format.
Nicole Dunn, who works in Commercial and Private Banking, often helps her parents who are hard of hearing and who use English as their second language, to make sense of financial information.
Nicole explains just because something is written in English, we shouldn’t assume this is easy for people to understand.
“My parents grew up in a time when those who were Deaf or hard of hearing didn’t get the same education outcomes as perhaps people do today,” she says.
“They have low English literacy and when you combine that with low financial literacy, they become more vulnerable on numerous levels. I often need to help them understand letters from the bank.”
“It’s important we speak to people in their native tongue and provide people with the opportunity to use their preferred service – this could be by ensuring our customer materials are available through Auslan, Easy Read, an interpreter or a combination of all three,” Nicole says.
Visit anz.com to explore the ANZ Complaints Guide in languages other than English, Auslan and Easy Read format.
*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics