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Kenya’s Bankers Association launch sign language training platform for employees 

close up woman signing in sign language

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has launched an online platform to train the workers on sign language to help improve accessibility of financial services for customers with hearing disabilities. 

The platform, dubbed eLimu, will be trained emplyees via web and a mobile app that contains self-training tools with 100 words and everyday banking comunications with video demonstrations and notes.

According to 2019 census statistics Kenya, 2.2 percent of Kenyans with disabilities live in the country. Of this population, only 0.5 percent are included within the formal financial system despite inclusion having risen to 82.9 percent.

“People with disabilities constitute one of the most underserved segments of the population across jurisdictions. Despite gains achieved through initiatives geared towards promoting access to financial services in the last two decades, financial inclusion has not sufficiently impacted our clients with disabilities,” said KBA chief executive Habil Olaka.

The app was developed and moderated by Deaf eLimu Plus Ltd. This deaf-owned startup company provides innovative educational products and tutorial services in sign languages with KBA and FSD Kenya funding.

Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge said the app would improve access to financial services for deaf people and called on banks to improve access by coming up with more tailor-made solutions targeting the community.

The new platform has come out of recommendations from the KBA’s People with Disability Digital Accessibility Project.

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