To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Pathways to Work programmes are registered (a) blind or partially sighted and (b) deaf; and if he will make a statement.
Of the individuals who have entered Pathways to Work, there are 170 whose disability condition is recorded as 'blindness and low vision' and 160 whose disability condition is recorded as 'other hearing loss'.
1. The data on medical condition for Pathways to Work participants are incomplete. The reason for this is that they are drawn from incapacity benefit data that appear in the National Benefits Database (NBD). This impacts on the completeness of Pathways medical condition data in two ways. Firstly, NBD lags behind other Pathways Evaluation Database sources by some three to four months. Secondly, the NBD incapacity benefit data are based on a six-weekly snapshot, which means that some short-term claims of less than six weeks never appear. For this reason it is important that the above response should only be taken as an indication of Pathways activity for people with the specified disabilities. The NBD only records the individual's primary medical condition.
2. Some individuals may not have been on Pathways long enough to attend a Work Focused Interview (WFI) or may have left Pathways before the initial WFI was due or may have had their initial WFI deferred or waived.
3. The category of 'other hearing loss' is a sub-category of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, condition 'Diseases of the Ear and Mastoid Process'. The majority of people who are deaf would come under this subcategory.
Pathways to Work Evaluation Database.
Data is to the end of June 2006.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.