MUSCAT – Bank Muscat recently celebrated the UN-mandated International Day of Sign Languages by organising training programmes for a number of its employees in cooperation with the Oman Association for the Hearing-impaired. Notably, more than 210 employees of the bank have completed various levels of the Sign Language course in the past so as to enable the bank to better serve its various customer segments.
According to the World Health Organization, about 430 million people around the world have a disabling hearing loss. Hence, it is important to protect and support deaf communities by implementing a range of accessibility measures and inclusion strategies. Financial inclusion is an important part of this strategy and as Oman’s leading financial services provider aligned to the landmark objectives of Oman Vision 2040, Bank Muscat is continuously taking a number of efforts to develop services that provide greater accessibility and inclusion for its large family of customers.
Speaking on the occasion, Said Salim Al Aufi, General Manager – Human Resources and Administration, said: “We are very proud of all the efforts made by various government and private sector organisations, NGOs and individuals in working together to achieve the inclusion of different groups in society as inclusivity is one of the main strategies that will help accomplish the visionary goals of Oman Vision 2040. As a pioneer in promoting financial inclusivity, the bank has seen the positive results that arise from enhancing financial inclusion and meeting the requirements of customers with disabilities through a variety of initiatives including training programmes for our employees. The bank is constantly working to enhance its role in providing an appropriate environment that fosters the abilities of all so as to promote greater participation in economic activities by all sections of our society.”
Bank Muscat has been undertaking many measures for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. In 2021, the bank contributed a number of wheelchairs and electric beds to persons with severe disabilities in partnership with the Oman Association for the Disabled. The bank also recently contributed laptops and BrailleSense devices to visually-impaired students at Sohar University and hearing aids to the Omani Association for the Hearing-impaired.
Bank Muscat had earlier supported the construction of a playground at the Al Aman Rehabilitation Centre for children with severe disabilities, and is also at present helping provide a sports field at the Al Wafa Centre for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. The bank has also previously installed a special ATM with a special transaction flow for blind and visually-impaired people on the premises of the head office of the Al Noor Association of the Blind. Bank Muscat has also identified 11 conventional bank branches as well as 9 branches of Meethaq across different governorates, which will be fully equipped and prepared in the coming months to provide banking services to people with different types of disabilities.
Bank Muscat is constantly innovating to improve and enhance inclusivity through its various sustainability programmes and is keen to partner likeminded organisations to ensure the goals of inclusivity and overall renaissance of the country. The efforts of the bank have been well recognised by society with the bank being honored in the past by the Ministry of Social Development, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Fourth Oman Forum for Partnership and Social Responsibility.