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TD Lab launches accessibility tool for public use at no cost to help drive inclusive online experiences
Piloted in early 2023 for TD colleagues, the TD Accessibility Adapter tool allows users to implement their online accessibility preferences.
TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2023 /CNW/ - At the opening night of the 2023 Elevate Festival, TD Bank Group (TD) (TSX: TD) announced the Canadian and American launch of its accessibility browser plug-in, TD Accessibility Adapter, to the public at no cost. The tool, which enables users to personalize their online experience tied to individual accessibility preferences, includes accessibility features such as reading guides, adjustable font size, dark mode, a dyslexia-friendly font and monochrome mode. It is also explicitly designed without using overlays and to co-exist with other assistive technologies, such as standalone screen magnification software.
"At TD, inclusion is part of our DNA – it's infused in how we work, how we support our customers and it's fundamental in how we innovate, " said Rizwan Khalfan, Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD Bank Group." We hope that by offering this tool in the public domain, we can support communities and organizations outside of the Bank to drive further inclusion in their online experiences."
When the TD Accessibility Adapter was initially developed by TD Lab, an innovation group at TD that collaborates with businesses across the Bank, it was designed to help increase the accessibility options available to TD colleagues, whether they identify as having a disability or not. Its initial pilot started with over 6,000 retail colleagues from TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® (AMCB) in the U.S. and in June, the tool launched to more than 95,000 TD colleagues around the world. The internal launch of the TD Accessibility Adapter provided all TD colleagues – regardless of their disability self-identification – a tool to help customize their online accessibility preferences.
"Providing an accessible online experience means prioritizing inclusion for users in an increasingly digital world," said Ravi Acharya, Head of Consumer Distribution Program Delivery, TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank. "Throughout the initial AMCB pilot, our team was proud to offer this tool to colleagues first – so that anyone who works at the Bank could have their accessibility preferences met while they engaged in meeting the financial needs of our customers."
The launch of the TD Accessibility Adapter comes on the cusp of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of Canadian and American workers with disabilities past and present and showcases inclusive policies, practices, and tools to promote an accessible workforce.
"We know that while roughly one in four adults in the U.S.1 and one in five in Canada2 have some type of disability, oftentimes there is a stigma3 that comes from saying 'I have an accessibility need,'" said Samantha Estoesta, Product Manager – Social Innovation Specialization at TD and Product Owner of the TD Accessibility Adapter tool. "Our goal with the Adapter was to be able to provide an accessible online experience designed with inclusion in mind. We've seen a resoundingly positive response from teams across the Bank – even from those without a diagnosed disability – and I'm thrilled that by opening access to the tool beyond TD, we can help to further drive inclusion."
The TD Accessibility Adapter can be downloaded via the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, users can follow the below steps to initiate the extension:
- Click on the Extension (puzzle piece) icon to access extensions.
- Select the "TD Accessibility Adapter" extension.
- Pin the TD Accessibility Adapter to your preferred extensions for ease of access.
- To access tutorials on how to use the TD Accessibility Adapter, open up the extension and click the Help link. You'll find tutorials on:
a. How to access and pin the Chrome extension for easy access
b. How to save and manage user profiles
c. How to select and modify an individual feature
This announcement follows a wide range of initiatives by the Bank that help support colleagues, customers and communities through inclusive technology and innovation including:
- On July 11, 2023, at the Disability:IN Conference in the U.S., TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, was named A Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion. TD Bank has been recognized with the top score of 100 per cent in the 2023 Disability Equality Index (DEI) for the ninth consecutive year. The nationally recognized benchmarking tool evaluates the corporate policies and practices found on disability inclusion and workplace equity.
- On June 8, 2023, The Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) announced the launch of the ACCELERATE Leadership program together with TD, KDPM Consulting Group, and Blueprint. The program supports the development of inclusive products, services, and programs by providing Leadership Labs - workshops with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) experts and fellow executives, an online community platform, and peer-to-peer and 3-month executive coaching programs to help enable top-down EDI transformation.
- In March 2023 in Canada, TD, in collaboration with the Canadian Administration of Video Relay Services (VRS), announced a new dedicated phone line for customers who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The phone line allows individuals to leverage their VRS application when completing their remote banking needs to connect with English or French TD representatives. It highlights the Bank's focus on developing customized solutions for disability communities to help increase their ease to bank with us independently.
- In 2022, TD Lab launched the Equity Resource Hub, a free, open-source solution that helps teams from any organization include a clear equity lens into their processes, projects and solutions during development to help address unconscious bias. The Hub was first used internally, and then extended to individuals and organizations outside the Bank, at no charge, via open-source access. TD Lab operates out of Communitech, which is a public-private innovation hub in the region of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, designed to explore innovation, with a particular focus on customer experience, entrepreneurship, growth, international business development and women in technology.
- In 2022, TD Bank launched TD Workshop in Philadelphia, offering a fully functional store, community centre, research lab and brainstorm room to help gather customer and community feedback on new TD Bank products and services in a dedicated space.
- In 2022, TD committed both funding and the expertise of its Digital and Research teams to the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation in Toronto to help create the Virtual Centre for Cancer Support brought to you by TD. The Centre is designed to help upwards of 10,000 individuals and families navigating through cancer each year.
- In 2021, TD Bank integrated Aira in all TD Bank stores and ATMs, optimizing independence and accessibility for blind and low-vision individuals in the U.S. Through the TD Bank initiative with Aira, TD Bank customers receive free access to Aira in all of the Bank's 1,100+ stores and thousands of ATMs from Maine to Florida.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by assets and serves over 27.5 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; Wealth Management and Insurance, including TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities and TD Cowen. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 16 million active online and mobile customers. TD had $1.9 trillion in assets on July 31, 2023. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing over 9.9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,100 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Auto Finance, a division of TD Bank, N.A., offers vehicle financing and dealer commercial services. TD Bank and its subsidiaries also offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.td.com/us. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US and www.twitter.com/TDNews_US.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com/us.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disability Impacts All of Us
2 Canadian Survey on Disability Reports, A demographic, employment and income profile of Canadians with disabilities aged 15 years and over, 2017
3 Stacy A. Hickox and Keenan Case, Risking Stigmatization to Gain Accommodation
SOURCE TD Bank Group
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