STOP THE CHANGES TO ACCESS TO WORK – STOP THE CUTS
Deafway joined the the Stop The Changes to Access To Work march on Saturday 26th September 2015 in London.
Access to Work (AtW) has provided Deaf people with access to the workplace by paying for BSL interpreters, note takers, etc. so that hearing and Deaf people can communicate with each other as equals. Likewise they have provided disabled people with specialist equipment of support workers. Through this Deaf and disabled people have been able to get, keep, and progress in all areas of work.
AtW have now decided to introduce caps or cuts to the amount of support D/deaf and Disabled people can receive.
What do these changes mean for Deaf people?
D/deaf people’s AtW budget is not enough to purchase support to meet their individual needs.
The budgets are insufficient to be able to use qualified interpreters and this prevents personal choice or control, on who they can use.
The consequences of using non qualified interpreters in many areas of work can have a negative impact on D/deaf people, the jobs they undertake, the ability to effectively undertake their roles and to remain in employment.
The reduced budget means that Deaf people are only able to pay for interpreters for part of their working week, leaving them unable to undertake some parts of their work, which could put them at real risk of losing their jobs.
Employers will be unwilling to recruit Deaf staff, as for each employee they would have to find additional funds to make up any shortfall in providing support.
What needs to happen?
D/deaf people need a budget that reflects what support is required and not what AtW think they need.
Personal choice and control needs to be handed back to the experts on Deaf and disabled access needs in the workplace the individual Deaf and disabled people who use the scheme.