Wells Fargo Launches Enterprise Accessibility Program Office

Company highlights accessible services, Diverse Leaders Program, and Accessibility Hackathon results.

REUTERS

In honor of the International Day of People with Disabilities, Wells Fargo & Company (No. 9 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) launched its Enterprise Accessibility Program Office. The office will coordinate and advocate for accessibility initiatives throughout the company to help deliver a positive and consistent team member and customer experience.


The overall goals of the Enterprise Accessibility Program Office are to:

  • Serve as an advocate and leader in accessibility for team members and customers.
  • Create and continue to sustain talent retention and opportunities for advancement for team members with diverse abilities.
  • Foster a fully engaged and accessible workplace environment.

"We are focused on delivering accessibility experiences for customers and team members that recognize disability as a natural part of the human condition, and helping people with disabilities fully engage with the bank to succeed financially," said Kathy Martinez, head of Disability and Accessibility Strategy at Wells Fargo. "While a lot of progress has been made since the signing of the American with Disabilities Act, more can be done to ensure accessibility for all, and we plan to do just that."

Martinez joined Wells Fargo in 2015 from the U.S. Department of Labor, where she served as the assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy.  At Wells Fargo, she works closely with lines of businesses to define internal and external strategies related to online and physical accessibility; hiring and promotion of team members with disabilities; national nonprofit partnership programs; and disability-owned suppliers.

Recent Wells Fargo initiatives include the following:

Accessible Wells Fargo Services

Wells Fargo is committed to providing outstanding service to people with diverse abilities and ensuring they can access their accounts using a banking channel of their choice. These include:

  • Accessible mobile apps for those who may be blind or have low vision.
  • Materials in large print, large font, and Braille, and materials that are audio and screen reader accessible.
  • JAWS (Job Access With Speech) screen-reader software installed at most branches, providing blind or low vision customers the opportunity to activate online banking. ADA accommodation is available in all branches where online banking stations have been removed.

Diverse Leaders Program for People with Disabilities

Wells Fargo's Diverse Leaders Program for People with Disabilities offers leaders who identify as having a disability the opportunity to understand, reclaim and embrace the strengths and competencies that may have challenged them, and help them bridge the gap while retaining their differences and values. These leaders practice leadership skills necessary for success in a diverse business environment, learn from senior leaders about how they achieved success in their careers, and build camaraderie through the opportunity to network, share and learn from others.

Accessibility Hackathon

In 2016, Wells Fargo implemented its first Accessibility Hackathon, in which 30 internal teams in the U.S. and abroad worked for two days in a virtual environment to develop technology that would improve the accessibility of a product, service or platform used by Wells Fargo team members. Hackathon winners produced insightful recommendations and solutions to improve accessibility for tracking time in the workplace for team members who have low vision or are blind. Wells Fargo hosted its second internal Accessibility Hackathon in November 2017 and had more than 28 teams participate worldwide.

To learn more about Wells Fargo's commitment to accessibility, visit www.wellsfargo.com/about/diversity/accessibility/

What do the Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain Suicides Mean in the Workplace?

How many of your employees or colleagues at work are struggling with mental health issues? Do you know? Have you even considered it?

By Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The tragic and untimely deaths by suicide of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain should serve as a reminder that even the most talented people, who appear to be holding it all together better than many of us, also can be affected by mental illness, a leading cause of suicide.

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Wells Fargo Observes International Day of Family Remittances, Offers Fee Waiver

Company to waive ExpressSend remittance transfer fees to all countries, payout locations June 15–18.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo & Company announced it will commemorate the International Day of Family Remittances by waiving all transfer fees for ExpressSend ® remittances sent June 15–18.

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13 Organizations Awarded $12.1 Million From Wells Fargo to Support Diverse Small Businesses

Funding awarded to local Community Development Financial Institutions.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo & Company announced that 13 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) around the U.S. have been selected to receive $12.1 million in lending capital and grants under the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program. The recipients are private, nonprofit financial institutions that are dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable financial products to underserved populations and communities. Many of the small and micro businesses CDFIs serve may not be ready to access capital through conventional financing methods.

The Diverse Community Capital recipients are:

  • BOC Capital Corp. - Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • California Capital Financial Development Corporation – Sacramento, Calif.
  • Cooperative Development Fund of CDS for Shared Capital Cooperative - St. Paul, Minn.
  • Cooperative Fund of New England – serving New England
  • Entrepreneur Fund – Duluth, Minn.
  • First American Capital Corporation – West Allis, Wis.
  • Hartford Community Loan Fund – Hartford, Conn.
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation – serving Los Angeles
  • Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) – San Francisco
  • Mountain BizWorks – Asheville, N.C.
  • New Jersey Community Capital – New Brunswick, N.J.
  • PeopleFund – Austin, Texas
  • Rainier Valley Community Development Fund – Seattle, Wash.

Diverse Community Capital funds will be used by the awardees to increase lending to diverse small business owners; help more diverse small business owners get the coaching and education resources they may need to grow their business; and improve, create or add resources, materials, products, or programs to better serve their target market.

Under the program, awardees also have the opportunity to participate in a social capital component, delivered by Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs. Social capital opportunities include an online learning community, working groups on specific topics, consulting, peer learning and mentoring.

"Now in its third year, the DCC program's impact on communities has been compelling," said Connie Smith, Wells Fargo's Diverse Community Capital program manager. "DCC awardees are increasing access to capital and development services for diverse small businesses in their local communities. These awards are inspiring collaboration and innovation in the CDFI industry every day."

In fiscal year 2017, Diverse Community Capital awardees closed more than $284 million in loans to diverse small business clients. That represents a year-over-year increase of 23 percent for the first 18 awardees and a 63 percent increase for the next 26 awardees. Awardees closed nearly $103 million to black or African American entrepreneurs and more than $75 million to Hispanic or Latino entrepreneurs. In addition, 76 of all development services offered by DCC awardees were delivered to diverse small businesses. Most awardees reported at least one new or changed program or product designed to increase capital deployment to their clients.

"When local businesses succeed, so do the communities where we live and work," said Mike Rizer, director of Community Relations at Wells Fargo. "By financing community businesses — including small businesses, microenterprises, and nonprofit organizations — CDFIs spark job growth and retention in communities across the U.S."

Today's announcement marks Diverse Community Capital's fifth installment, or round, of awardees since 2015. Wells Fargo has committed an additional $100 million over the next three years to CDFIs serving diverse small businesses.

To earn back your trust, Wells Fargo has renewed its commitment to you. See our re-established goals at http://www.wellsfargo.com/renew.
We are re-committing to you and re-inventing how we serve you, delivering banking features like Card-Free ATM Access, and Debit Card On or Off for when you misplace your debit card. We have changed our sales policies and culture to fix what went wrong and make things right, knowing an apology is just the beginning.

Parents of Students with Intellectual Disabilities Fight for Inclusion

As the mental health debate heats up in schools, students with intellectual disabilities from their peers face continued stigma as they remain isolated.

For the past three decades, public schools have supposedly been doing their best to keep students with intellectual disabilities with their peers in a regular education setting. However, research shows that between 55 and 73 percent of those with intellectually disabilities still spend most or all of their day in segregated placements. By not developing those social skills children are being set up for an unsettled future.

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