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Access to work scheme disappointing for wheelchair users

Access to work scheme disappointing for wheelchair users

In October we heard of yet more cut backs that will affect wheelchair users and make it harder for the disabled to work. Now it seems that things are looking worse as the Access to Work scheme meets more hurdles.

The initiative is now 20 years old and was originally a scheme that was intended to provide anything that helped from wheelchair ramps to interpreters for the deaf. The recent study suggests that the scheme is in fact making it harder and denying some folk their right to employment.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee report found that staff often failed to understand the needs of disabled people although the scheme does seem to have helped 35000 people find work in the past 12 months.

Access to Work assists disabled workers by paying for specialist aids such as wheelchair ramps and building adaptations typically aimed at making wheelchair access easier and ensuring that all facilities can be accessed by those who need them.

Some of the report findings did actually clearly display that the scheme has worked and that it "transformed the lives of disabled people", many of whom would be unable to work without it.

Let's hope there is some continuation in improvement and that the scheme does offer hope for all disabled who are trying to find work. Interestingly, earlier this month the Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper urged all British businesses to take on someone with a disability for a work placement in 2015 so we will see what happens in the new year and hope that further cut backs don't get in the way of us wheelchair users.

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