Access to work is known as the UK Government’s best kept secret, supporting people in the workplace with disabilities to overcome barriers, and placing them on an equal footing to those without disabilities.
Are you an employee or self-employed person with a disability? The Access to Work scheme can help you.
How does the Access to Work scheme operate?
Access to Work provides a discretionary grant to alleviate the employment barriers some people with disabilities may face. It provides funding over and above the “reasonable adjustment” demanded by The Equality Act 2010.
Access to Work offers grants for people with disabilities to access a range of in-work support, including:
To enable a person with disability to perform to their full capabilities. This includes, though is not limited to, funding for magnifiers, Text to Speech software, ergonomic office furniture and equipment.
This person will assist with administrative tasks which someone with a disability may find problematic. A Support Worker might also be employed to drive a person with a disability to work or meetings, to act as a sighted guide, or to assist with pushing a wheelchair.
Access to Work may cover the cost of taxi transport from and/or to your place of work. It may be that a person with a disability only requires a taxi in the evenings as they are able to access public transport during the day.
A Job Coach/Mentor may be provided to give a person with a disability a sounding board outside of their place of employment, and to construct in-work and career development strategies.
A Business Mentor can be provided to support a person with a disability who is self-employed, and looking to develop themselves and/or their business professionally.
The scheme can provide funding for the employer to make adjustments to their physical business environment, such as installing lifts and ramps to facilitate access, maximising lighting to improve an employee’s functional vision or installing hearing loops to aid hearing.
If a person has a disability and is in paid employment or self-employment, then Access to Work may be able to fund any additional costs occurred by their disability.