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Parliament: Access to Work Scheme, Marketing

dwplogo.jpgJohn Barrett (Shadow Minister, International Development; Edinburgh West, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department is doing to publicise Access to Work.

Stephen Timms (Minister of State (Employment and Welfare Reform), Department for Work and Pensions; East Ham, Labour)

The Access to Work national delivery team is currently implementing an internal marketing strategy to ensure that all Jobcentre staff involved with disabled customers are fully briefed on the Access to Work programme. This will cover the aims of the programme, eligibility criteria and the application process.

The programme is also being promoted through presentations and exhibitions, and through close working partnerships developed with the major disability groups such as the Royal National Institute for Blind people, Royal National Institute for Deaf people and MIND.

Articles have appeared in external publications such as 'Disability Wales' and the National Spinal Association magazine illustrating how Access to Work can practically support disabled people into paid employment. Additionally, Jobcentre Plus includes information on Access to Work in internally produced magazines such as 'Inspire'. This magazine, which is targeted at job seekers, is available, along with other leaflets on Access to Work, in all Jobcentre Plus offices. The magazine 'Engage', also produced by Jobcentre Plus and aimed at employers, regularly carries information about Access to Work, along with other Jobcentre Plus services.

Information about Access to Work is available on the Jobcentre Plus and Directgov websites. Directgov as a source of information about Jobcentre Plus services for disabled people is widely publicised, for example, in the latest issue of 'Ability Needs' magazine. Disability employment advisers, who are often the gateway to Access to Work, are regularly in contact with small to medium sized employers locally and will raise awareness of Access to Work when appropriate.

Comment from Alison:
Hello government! Instead of churning out the easiest bog standard off the shelf response to cover yourselves, I would appreciate if you could put a bit more thought into this. Remember the Disability Equality Duty, where you're required to consult disabled people (including deaf) in respect of institutional delivery or attitude? Well here's a pointer, working partnerships with major disability groups, including the RNID really is not enough. Such corporate organisations can be out of reach for many of us, and information with a deaf organisation as a gatekeeper really is not a good idea. There's paternalistic / control issues here, linked with charities.

I just tried to do a quick search for Access to Work + BSL and I seem to be getting information about the fact you can use AtW to pay for interpreters. Where's the information in BSL? Does anyone know if this exists? Putting information online in BSL would be a start, but this is not the only way of information dissemination. My key question, what other methods are you using for dissemination?

Source:
Hansard
They Work For You

Comments (1)

Re: Alison's comment:

"working partnerships with major disability groups, including the RNID really is not enough. Such corporate organisations can be out of reach for many of us, and information with a deaf organisation as a gatekeeper really is not a good idea. There's paternalistic / control issues here, linked with charities."

That is absolutely spot on. The government constantly refers to liaising with RNID as if that amounts to proper consultation with deaf people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even as a member, I am currently struggling to persuade RNID to be even remotely accountable to deaf people - they simply want to shut us out from our own business!

Referring to RNID as a major disability group is simply not correct - they have few deaf or disabled people, especially at the top. This sham-consulting goes against the spirit of the DED.

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