Access to Work Programme: Visual Impairment

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th September 2011.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Labour, Tottenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what employment support his Department provides to deafblind people placed in the work-related activity group who will not be fit for work within three months.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Jobcentre Plus advisers offer back-to-work support for all people claiming employment and support allowance, whether they are placed in the support group or the work related activity group (WRAG). Those in the support group can access this help voluntarily; most of those in the WRAG are expected to take steps to prepare themselves for a return to work. This support is available from the individual's Jobcentre Plus adviser or via a Work programme provider where a person volunteers for, or is required to join, this new scheme. A diagnosis of every individual's circumstances is performed to establish a tailor-made package of support or training that will best help that person to secure work.

Assistance available from Jobcentre Plus includes the “Get Britain Working” measures and locally arranged provision as agreed by the Jobcentre Plus District manager to reflect the local labour market.

Specialist help is also available via disability employment advisers (DEAs) who can refer individuals to specialist programmes, including Residential Training and Work Choice. They may also use the professional expertise of work psychologists specialising in working with disabled people if required. They can advocate with employers on the individual's behalf and help employers to explore job solutions such as the restructuring of a job's tasks or the environment, or the provision of, or change to equipment. They can also signpost customers to the Access to Work service.

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