In a May 2, 2012 press release Charles Schwab announced a website accessibility plan that would make the site more inclusive for all clients, in particular those with some sort of disability. The firm has adopted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 level AA and will continue to improve the accessibility of the site over the next year to meet that standard.
Some of general accessibility improvements that Schwab has already introduced are Braille and large-print statements and reader and sign language interpreter services, while the website supports zoom, color and screen reader features. Information about the firm’s current WCAG and other accessibility improvements can be found on the new Accessibility at Charles Schwab page. The contact numbers it lists are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for investing and trading needs. Information on possible future improvements has not yet been provided.
This accessibility initiative being undertaken by Charles Schwab could start a trend amongst brokerage firms. In the past, emphasis has not been placed on making brokerage websites more accessible for disabled users. The desire to invest is not limited only to those who are not disabled, and more brokerage firms will work to ensure that they do not unnecessarily exclude any potential clients.