Westpac and St.George trial industry first Auslan interpreting service in Penrith
Penrith's deaf and hard of hearing community now have access to financial advice in Auslan, thanks to an industry first trial by Westpac and St.George Bank.
The program enables Westpac and St.George customers and financial planners to use high speed video-conferencing technology to connect and have real-time conversations with interpreters who can sign Auslan (Australian Sign Language).
Westpac Chief Operating Officer John Arthur said the trial is part of the organisation's ongoing commitment to make banking easier, simpler, and more convenient for customers.
"The trial is an important step to help break down the communication barriers experienced by many of our deaf and hard of hearing customers, and we're proud to be the first financial institution to offer it to customers."
"Approximately 25 per cent of Auslan-users live in New South Wales and with many of these customers based in Western Sydney, this is an ideal location for us to trial the service with scope to expand it nationally in the future," said Mr Arthur.
The trial will be run in Westpac and St.George branches in Penrith for six weeks. The service is free and will connect the branches with qualified Auslan interpreters through a simple email booking system.
Diana Diab, St. George Regional Executive Western Sydney Region, said they are committed to building an inclusive community in Penrith.
"We understand that activities like visiting a bank to talk about your finances can become more challenging if you're hearing impaired. That's why we're really excited to get behind this trial to help build an inclusive community in Penrith and facilitate conversations with our customers whose first and preferred language is Auslan."
To find out more about the Westpac and St.George Auslan service, email firstname.lastname@example.org.