To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of job centres make available accessibility software to assist blind and partially sighted people to claim universal credit; what assessment her Department has made of geographical variations in that provision; and what other support is made available to assist people with sensory impairments who cannot access the internet with applying for universal credit.
Universal Credit Full Service is fully compatible with accessibility software. Where our customers need assistance to access our services and information, we make adjustments to meet their individual needs. DWP customers who have a specific communication barrier are able to use a variety of different formats such as Braille, audio, and large print, through third party interpreters, and by arranging for a member of staff to visit the customer in their home. All jobcentres have also hearing loops.
Accessibility software specifically for blind and partially sighted claimants is not currently available in jobcentres. However, we are starting research later this month to understand how best we can improve the service to support these claimants. Possible geographical variation in support will also be explored in this research. The Department is already involved in the cross-government accessibility community, and we plan to work with other third parties to better understand the complexities and issues involved with assistive technology.