Bankers Will Create Mobile App That Will Use The Kenyan Sign Language To Curb Communication Hitches


Kenyan bankers will create a mobile app that will use the Kenyan Sign language to curb communication hitches.

One of the most marginalized people in Kenya is the disabled and particularly the deaf clients who go through a hard time because of communication challenges. Most apps do not consider these groups of people and study has shown that these are the least satisfied because of the communication hitches.

As an attempt to help this group of clients, the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has partnered with the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSD KSD) to create the first of its kind self-training app that will use the Kenya Sign Language (KSL).

How will it work?

Since there are numerous bank terms that a bank app must have, the plan is to have at least 100 banking terms in sign language and about ten bank-related phrases.

KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said:

“The app will play a huge role in building capacity among bank staff on Kenyan Sign Language, facilitating enhanced interactions among bank staff and the deaf community,”

Communication barriers and challenges.

Bankers deal with different types of clients every day but dealing with different groups of people is not something that you’re taught in school or in accounts. The 2020 Banking Industry Persons with Disabilities Accessibility Report by KBA and FSD revealed that both deaf customers and bank staff faced a lot of challenges due to communication barriers.

Who will develop the app?

This noble project will be handled by software engineering firm Deaf eLimu Plus which is managed by founder Hudson Asiema, this will also mean that bankers will also have to learn some basic sign language to reduce the frustrations they currently go through with persons with hearing impairments.

How many deaf persons are currently excluded?

FSD Kenya chief executive Tamara Cook said the app will enable financial inclusion for the over 150,000 deaf persons in Kenya, according to 2019 population data.

“These are the clients of banks, and they need to have that kind of access and be treated with the respect that they deserve, but also make sure that they have all the information they need to fully utilise those financial services,” said Ms Cook.​