Tuesday, May 30th on #AXSChat Twitter Chat – Jake Abma – Accessibility Lead for ING Netherlands and Ambassador of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

ost of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed be no help at all. (34)

Accessibility Lead for ING Netherlands

For the last four years, Jake has set up a raft of initiatives to make sure products and services are accessible to people with the widest range of capabilities. He’s a passionate promoter of accessibility both inside and outside the Bank.

jake3Product Owner

ING has introduced different initiatives to ensure full customer accessibility to our services and products, initially on a somewhat ad-hoc basis. Since 2 years Jake is the Product Owner for Team A11Y, and his mission is to make it managed and documented.

Champions Network

Building the right technology, and creating standards, is a top priority for Jake and his team, which is made up of people from different disciplines, such as IT, UX and communication, some of them having a disability themselves. “We’re also setting up a Champions Network, inspired by BBC and Barclays, and we’ve just launched a new page on the Dutch ING website inviting feedback from customers on what their needs are, and communicating with them about what we’re doing.”

ING Accessibility Team
ING Accessibility Team – (credits Jake Abma)

Ambassador UN CRPD

Since a year and a half, Jake is very active as an ambassador of the UN CRPD. As an ambassador of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) actively contribute to spread the knowledge and to raise awareness of the existence and necessity of the rights of people with disabilities.

Map - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Countries who ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol

Web Guidelines Expert Group (WCAG)

Part of the WEG within the Netherlands. The WEG will propose amendments, ideas, concerns, interpretation and clarification of the Web Guidelines into consideration and issue a non-binding opinion thereon to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Collaborating across banks

One of the initiators of an accessibility ‘Task Force’ from within the G3ict, set up in conjunction with the UN, which currently involves nine banks in many different countries, sharing best practices on a range of topics. “Accessibility in banks extends to branches, ATMs, banking cards, basically any financial transaction where people are involved.”

Accessibility Guild

An Accessibility Guild within ING, along with the lines of the Spotify model, is another of Jake’s initiatives. The Guild invites colleagues from different departments – IT, communication, debit cards, ATMs, branding, to come together and see how we can all help and strengthen each other. “This is currently just in the Netherlands,” says Jake, “but with the rise in modular architecture, with projects like TouchPoint Architecture and Model Bank, it could become relevant for other countries too.” Jake is in regular contact with countries such as Spain, Poland, Germany and Belgium, sharing best practices on accessibility from the Netherlands.

Jake Abma and Debra Ruh
Jake Abma and Debra Ruh (credits Jake Abma)

A passionate promoter

“The CRPD changed the definitions,” Jake explains. “It was no longer the person who had a problem, but the product, service or environment; if it had barriers that hindered a disabled person’s full participation in society on an active and equal basis with others, then it needed changing.”

Since then, Jake has been a passionate promoter of accessibility. He has made sure that accessibility principles can be found within ING’s user interface framework, The Guide. “And they’re not just for IT, but for Product Owners, designers, developers, the whole spectrum.”

Jack photo from M-Enabling
Jack photo from M-Enabling. (credits Jake Abma)

More info at AXSChat

One thought on “Tuesday, May 30th on #AXSChat Twitter Chat – Jake Abma – Accessibility Lead for ING Netherlands and Ambassador of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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