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  • Merged bank marks decade of support on UN international day for disabled

    December 2019


    • Staff experience challenges faced by disabled community

    • New head office being built for people of all abilities

    Saudi’s newly merged bank is reaffirming its commitment to inclusivity to mark UN’s ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’. For over 10 years, Alawwal bank and SABB have helped thousands of disabled people in the Kingdom, now as one bank, it aims to take new steps to further this legacy of support.

    David Dew, Managing Director, SABB: “It’s up to large companies like ours to actively promote inclusivity across Saudi Arabia. We have the resources to make a difference, not just for the thousands of customers and staff we support but for the Kingdom as a whole.”

    Previously, both banks have been long-term supporters of the Disabled Children’s Association. Over 10 years, SABB's ‘Employment Program for People with Special Needs’ helped find jobs for more than 5,000 young people in various companies. Alawwal bank also donated to the association to help rehabilitate children aged 4-12. SABB also helped establish the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Specialized Prosthetics Center (the largest in the Middle East), which now treats 9,000 patients a year. Other initiatives include donations to rehabilitation centers for females and orphans with disabilities, as well as to the Saudi Deaf Sports Federation.

    Now the combined bank is taking new steps to promote accessibility – starting with staff. As well as using their offices to entertain kids from the Disabled Children’s Association, the bank challenged employees to tackle a wheelchair obstacle course, giving them first-hand experience of the difficulties disabled people face.

    Dew added: “We’re only really giving staff a glimpse of the day-to-day challenges disabled people face but it’s been a great learning experience. The more we understand, the more we can do to help.”

    The bank is currently constructing a new head office which is being designed to accommodate people of all abilities. As well as accessibility for wheelchair users, the building will also be built to consider the needs of the deaf and blind.

    A video promoting accessibility for wheelchair users is also being promoted Kingdom-wide by the bank.


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