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Poor interaction with deaf and deafblind people

We have been given lots of accounts of Access to Work’s poor interaction with deaf and deafblind people.

These include:

  • taking a long time to respond, or not responding at all;
  • stopping support without any warning;
  • only discussing cases on the telephone, rather than face-to-face;
  • forms, guidance and other information not being provided in plain English or British Sign Language;
  • changes being made at short notice and without warning;
  • a lack of consistency in decisions and the support provided; and
  • a general lack of understanding and knowledge about the needs of deaf and deafblind people.

This leads to frustration, uncertainty and anxiety for deaf and deafblind people. And their employer will be uncertain about whether or not they can keep their employee.

As poor communication leads to mistakes, government will find itself having to pick up the costs they lead too. They’ll also waste time and money investigating when things do go wrong.