Making Investing and Wealth Management Accessible to People with Disabilities

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People don’t have to phone in to buy and sell stocks and bonds anymore. This has been great for the Deaf community, and many others, as investing websites make it possible to be involved in the market daily. However, while stock trading websites are great for those who are deaf, people with other disabilities can be left out of the fun and profit. (And you’re left out of the revenue they’d be bringing to your site!)

Here are some examples of investment activities your customers with disabilities may need to access:

  • Comparing your investing site and services with others
  • Opening an account
  • Researching various stocks and their trends
  • Watching videos by experts in the stock market
  • Buying and selling stocks
  • Viewing the status of their investment

By implication, this also includes the general portions of the site users need to navigate through to access these services.

Nina has lost much of her sight since she retired. She wears special glasses, but still struggles from time to time. She loves investing money, but it seems that her days of buying and selling stocks may come to an end. All the investing websites she used are so hard to read now because of their tiny fonts and low contrast. If she waits for her granddaughter to visit and help her, she may miss out on the perfect time to buy or sell.

Wealth Management

While some individuals may never think about wealth management beyond the 401k they have through work, many are far more involved in ensuring their family’s financial future. Whether it’s setting up a college fund for a new baby, weighing the pros and cons of selling a house vs. making it an investment property, or changing contribution levels to an IRA, it’s essential for these sites to have accessibility features for all users. When customers with disabilities see that you’ve invested in them, they will be happy to invest in your service (and recommend you to their friends).

Here are some examples of activities your wealth management customers with disabilities may need to access:

  • Researching your services and comparing them to other providers
  • Creating an account in your system
  • Checking information on account
  • Setting up or changing contributions
  • Adding/changing investments
  • Watching videos by your experts on financial wellness

By implication, this also includes the general portions of the site users need to navigate through to access these services.

Kate wants to select her 401k package at her new job. She uses Dragon NaturallySpeaking to navigate her computer and the web because her upper body muscles were severely injured in an accident several years before. Unfortunately, the drop-down windows in the wealth management website her company uses does not allow her dictation software to select options and complete the process.

Lia is blind and uses a screen reader to access online content. She’s thinking about opening an investment account and is attempting to use a financial assessment tool on a broker’s site, but the text entry fields are not properly labeled so she doesn’t always know what information to input.

This article is part of a series about accessible technology for the financial industry which also includes Making Financial Apps Accessible to People with Disabilities.

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