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‘Access to Work’ Category

21 MarPress Release

We are pleased to see that the Department of Work and Pensions has decided to significantly raise the Access to Work cap. This will help deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) to access the communication support so vital to enabling them to thrive and succeed in the workplace.

The increase in the cap to £57,200 from April 2018 means that many more people will no longer face restrictions that impact their ability to carry out their jobs. We welcome this development which will reduce the barriers people face when accessing vital support to work, but we believe it is important to continue to monitor the impact of the cap on those with highest needs.

We welcome the ongoing engagement that the DWP has had with the sector through the UK Council on Deafness and DWP’s commitment to work collaboratively with us to monitor the impact of the cap. We will work with Access to Work’s specialist team as it seeks to coproduce tailored workplace assessments, and to improve its advice to Deaf people and employers, including on the appropriate use of technology, and we are committed to continue working with the Department to explore how this scheme can work for all.

 

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12 SepTHIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED

A SURVEY ON THE ATW (Access to Work) CAP

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The ATW CAP survey has been created to provide more information about the effects of capped ATW budgets on the working and professional lives of Deaf people.

The survey is definitely for you if:-

  • You have an ATW award

and

  • Your allocation has already been capped, or will be capped in April 2018

and

  • You live in England, Wales or Scotland (not Northern Ireland).

The survey is in BSL (British Sign Language) and English.  If you would like to answer the questions in BSL then please contact darrenth@gmail.com.

IMPORTANT: The survey needs to be completed before Friday 22nd September 2017.

The survey link is:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ATW_CAP

ATW survey 2017

 

Please note: we need MORE people to complete the survey.

This is your opportunity for your views and experiences to be ‘heard’ by the Government (The Department of Work and Pensions).

Please share information about this ATW cap survey with your friends and colleagues.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness (APPG) and UK Council on Deafness (UKCOD) are supporting this survey. We need to gather further evidence on the ATW cap before engaging with the Minister for the Disabled (Penny Morduant MP) and the Department of Work and Pensions.

03 FebDWP pilots Access to Work personal budgets

On Monday the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, announced a pilot of personal budgets for the Access to Work scheme.

In a statement to Parliament he said: “We are trialling a new feature of the access to work scheme. From today we shall be testing the use of personal budgets, which will allow disabled people who have received grants to decide exactly how and when the money can best be used to support their individual needs. That gives them more choice and more control over the support they receive to help them to start work, to stay in work, or even to start a business.”

The announcement follows a statement made by the Minister for Disabled People in March 2015, which was the result of negotiations about the scheme with our Access to Work special interest group.

15 JanDWP trials access by telephone for sign language users

People who use British Sign Language (BSL) can now contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) via telephone.

DWP has begun a six month pilot of a service that allows people whose first or only language is BSL to contact DWP about Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (65+), Disability Living Allowance (under 65) and Access to Work. Following the pilot the Department intends to provide the service via the Crown Commercial Service framework agreement for language services.

The video relay service (VRS), provided by SignVideo, connects the deaf person to a sign language interpreter via a camera on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The hearing person at DWP will be connected to the interpreter via a telephone.

The service will be open to everyone during normal working hours. All someone has to do is click on the hyperlink on the relevant web page and they will be connected.

Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness, said: “The UK Council on Deafness is delighted DWP has taken this step to open up access for deaf people who use BSL. We trust the pilot will be successful and look forward to more government services becoming accessible, as they are in Scotland.

“We are also glad the Department has commissioned one of the companies that has voluntarily agreed to our standards for VRS. It means deaf people can be assured the interpreter will be registered with NRCPD or a member of SASLI, which means they will be properly qualified and follow a code of conduct.”

16 DecDWP piloting online access to Access to Work

dwpThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is looking for new deaf and deafblind applicants to help it pilot its online application system for Access to Work

DWP believes deaf and deafblind people will particularly benefit from the new online service. They will appreciate UK Council on Deafness members advising new deaf applicants to email ATW.DIGITALFIRSTCONTACT@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK saying they want to make an online application.

The applicant then be sent a unique link that will take them to the online form. By gathering more  information at the start, DWP expects the system to reduce the time it takes to make an award.

The online system is one of the improvements our Access to Work special interest group lobbied for during its negotiations with DWP over the past two years. Other improvements that have been or are being made include being able to contact Access to Work via email, the introduction of personal budgets, and guidance for individuals in BSL and English.

Following the pilot, the online application system will be launched nationally. We hope it will lead to the development of an online portal through which people can manage their Access to Work award.