22 August 2022

Coventry Building Society has become the latest organisation to adopt Communication Access UK (CAUK) training to help customers with speech, language and communication disabilities.

The society has trained 1,200 customer-facing colleagues, including all its branch and call centre teams, to identify if someone needs support and to ask how they can help.

Communication Access UK is an initiative led by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and developed in partnership with charities and organisations that share a vision to improve the lives of people with communication difficulties.

One in every five people will experience a communication difficulty at some point in their lives and Coventry Building Society is now one of the first financial institutions in the UK to display the Communication Access Symbol in its branches and on its website.

Sam Richards, head of customer service at Coventry Building Society, said: “We pride ourselves on improving the experience our members have with us.

“By joining CAUK we are raising awareness and enhancing support for all our members. And training thousands of our colleagues across the society will give them the right skills and confidence to be able to identify and engage effectively with customers who may have communication, speech and language difficulties.

“People with communication difficulties often struggle with technology which is why we’ve installed supportive features on our website to make digital content more accessible. Some may also struggle with automated telephone services, so we keep things as simple as possible for customers to get through to our advisors quickly over the phone.

“We want all our members to feel welcomed and supported when they come into a branch, chat to us over the phone or use our online services.”

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ president Nick Hewer commented: “I’m delighted that Coventry Building Society has made an active commitment to inclusive communications for all, through its Communication Access UK accreditation.

“Staff who’ve taken the training will now be better equipped to support people who have speech, language and communication difficulties, like those who stammer or have speech challenges following a stroke or any other of the many health issues that impact on a person’s ability to communicate.”

The society is also training its head office departments so every colleague can understand the importance of inclusive communication for all.

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