We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Blind man settles claim against bank
Pic: Shutterstock

03 Jan 2024 / human rights Print

Blind man settles claim against bank

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) says that it has provided legal assistance to a man who is blind in a discrimination claim under the Equal Status Acts.

The claimant was experiencing ongoing difficulties in using the online-banking services of one of the main banks.

IHREC says that the man settled the claim before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) on terms satisfactory to both parties.

Accessibility features

The man’s difficulties included issues with the functionality of the bank’s online-banking app – including when he was asked to use strong customer authentication.

The commission points out that steps such as swiping and tapping on a specified location on the screen can be obstacles for a person who is blind.

The man also experienced difficulties accessing his bank statements online, as the accessibility features of the document had been disabled.

IHREC describes these features as “essential” for blind users to autonomously access digital documents, either by using voiceover technology or a ‘read-aloud’ function.


The man had referred a complaint against the bank, on the grounds of disability and failure to provide reasonable accommodation, to the WRC.

Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney said that banks were legally obliged to put in place measures to enable a person with a disability to use their service.

“As more and more services embrace technology, we must be vigilant as a society as to the impact that this has on all groups,” she concluded.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland