Bank Millennium is overcoming social barriers

Partner of the biggest documentary film festival in Poland and leader in barrier-free banking, Bank Millennium has been supporting accessibility of culture to people with visual disabilities. Thanks to audio description Bank Millennium will enable them to fully participate in the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival.

There are over 1.8 million people with visual dysfunction in Poland*. This is a large social group that would like to be part of cinema audience, but the visual barrier is insurmountable for them. This causes social exclusion. Audio-description - transmission of verbal descriptions of visual content through headphones - is a method by which the blind, partially sighted people, seniors and people with dyslexia and intellectual disabilities can understand a film even though they find it difficult or cannot read the subtitles on the screen. To this end, Bank Millennium will use a dedicated mobile application. People who install it on their smartphones and use ordinary headphones will be able to freely enjoy a movie show. This is a highly comfortable and discreet solution.

As part of this year's 16th edition of Millennium Docs Against Gravity Festival, Bank Millennium will prepare audio-descriptions for some selected films, which will be screened in Warsaw and Wrocław. The Festival in these cities will take place between 10th and 19th of May 2019.

- Audio-description breaks down social barriers. Thus, we help persons excluded by their visual disabilities to come back to the society. It is a solution that supports integration as the sighted and visually impaired persons can sit next to each other in the cinema and experience a movie show together - says Iwona Jarzębska, Director of the Public Relations Department at Bank Millennium. - Film is one of the most democratic fields of art. As a patron of culture and title sponsor of the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Festival, Bank Millennium wants to help people who love films and for various reasons cannot fully enjoy them - adds Iwona Jarzębska.

For years, Bank Millennium, this year celebrating the 30th anniversary of its cultural patronage, has been consistently eliminating the technical barriers that impede access to the bank as part of its CSR efforts. The Bank wants all its clients, including persons with disabilities, to have comfortable access to financial services. That is why it has introduced many facilities for the blind, visually impaired and wheelchair users. These solutions cover friendly access to branches, ATMs, telephone service, website, as well as customer service. 100% of ATMs and 90% of Bank Millennium branches are adjusted to the requirements of people with disabilities. In 2018, the Bank won the "Website without Barriers" competition for adapting its website to the needs of the visually impaired users.

*Data of the Central Statistical Office (GUS) of 2017.