Inclusion London and StopChanges2ATW respond to Access to Work inquiry

Inclusion London’s response highlights the difficulties Disabled people have experienced with Access to Work for instance:  Deaf people are reporting cases where the AtW funding for the Registered British Sign Language Interpreters (RBSLI) has been stopped without the Deaf person’s knowledge, consequently they have continued to employ the RBSLI incurring large debts, sometimes running to thousands of pounds.  

People with other impairments have also experience difficulties such as a lack of flexibility in the application process and a lack of understanding of some impairments or mental health conditions.

Key recommendations include:

  • The ‘30 hour policy’ as it has been applied to communication professionals should be abolished
  • Collaboration and engagement should be at the centre of AtW working practices as a person centred service.  The design of the assessments should involve Deaf and disabled people and the assessment itself should represent a process of engagement between scheme users and AtW staff, to determine the most adequate support.
  • Improved Deaf and disability awareness training for AtW staff should be implemented, ideally delivered by experienced Deaf and disabled trainers

Download the full response here: Inclusion London’s evidence AtW inquiry 

You are also welcome to download StopChanges2ATW response below, which makes the point that Access to Work is a model of support which works.  The response also draws attention to difficulties Deaf people have experienced such as,

  • Changes made retrospectively
  • Lack of notice before support ends
  • Delays and start dates

StopChanges2ATW recommendations include:

Reversal of all changes that have undermined the employability of Deaf customers including:

  • Introduction of the 30 hour rule
  • Unrealistic expectations placed on SMEs to meet access needs above what AtW are prepared to pay for
  • Denial and delay of support for job interviews
  • Job redesign – where AtW are encouraging employers to change the duties and responsibilities of their Deaf staff in order to reduce the need for communication support

Download the response from Stop Changes 2 ATW: StopChanges2ATWevidence