Shock! Parliament slams Access to Work!

Today, the Parliamentary Select Committee charged with reviewing Access To Work released an official report calling it ‘outmoded‘,’ inefficient‘, ‘unacceptably unclear‘ and  ‘unacceptably inaccessible.’

Strong words, but they are in the official report:

Thanks to the Select Committee for listening to the evidence of hundreds of deaf people.   (DeafLondon wrote two submissions both of which are mentioned in the Report on page 38.)

Some quotes from the ATW Report:

‘It is unacceptable that a programme designed to help disabled people should be inaccessible

‘The Disability Minister acknowledged the difficulties for BSL users of a system which required users to await a telephone call’

‘There is strong evidence that AtW currently supports only a minority of disabled people whom it might benefit.’

‘ATW is undermined by poor administration,’ and ‘relies on inefficient and outmoded paper-based processes.’

‘There is currently an unacceptable lack of clarity and transparency around decision making’

‘DWP has demonstrated a lack of understanding of how BSL interpretation is currently provided’

‘DWP’s application of guidance has had a profoundly detrimental impact on many service users, particularly deaf people’

‘A number of recent issues demonstrate the need for DWP to engage fully and meaningfully with AtW service users prior to making significant changes to the programme’

‘Staff administering Access to Work have displayed an unacceptable lack of disability awareness’

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