On April 27th it was announced at Naidex, Europe’s largest assistive technology conference that there will be a new technology access fund. This will be part of the Access to Work scheme.
Access to Work provides financial support to ensure someone’s disability or health condition does not hold them back at work and can cover assistive technology, workplace adaptations, transport and interpreters.
As part of Access to Work, it fell to employers to pay a mandatory contribution towards the cost of assistive technology that is required by the individual.
The announcement on the 27th means that as part of the government’s drive to ensure disabled people can benefit from the latest advances in technology, this cost will now be waived for all employers under the new Tech Fund.
The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, said:
We know that assistive technology has the power to transform lives, helping to break down the barriers disabled people can face at work and so many other areas of their everyday lives.
Access to Work is providing support to disabled people across the country, and I hope that through the new Tech Fund more disabled people and their employers will be able to benefit from advances in assistive technology that can help create more inclusive workplaces.
Paul Luigi Giuntini is a social worker from Scotland who is registered blind and has one hand. Through Access to Work, Paul is able to fund cutting edge assistive technology to help him do his job.
Paul’s support includes Orcam, a lightweight camera which clips onto the wearer’s glasses that can recognise faces and read from any surface in real time.
Access to Work funding is essential for disabled people, as it helps reduce the barriers and difficulties that disabled people face in trying to get into and maintain full-time employment.
Without the support of Access to Work, I would not have been able to obtain and sustain my current employment. I believe that this funding should be promoted so that disabled people are given every opportunity to improve their life situation.
This information is from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-tech-fund-to-support-disabled-people-and-their-employers for more information or support please visit the government website.
image from: http://www.ldrfa.org/assistive-technology/