Access to Work is government backed scheme that aims to help disabled people stay in work. It is one of the best schemes in the UK and can help you with things like:
- Someone to support you while your at work.
- Purchase of specialist equipment (including wheelchairs).
- Travel to and from work.
- Travel while in work.
Here’s The Catch
Like most systems designed to help disabled people, Access To Work can be tricky to negotiate.
Never fear though because we are here to help. We’ve put together a helpful sheet with some pro tips to help you get the most out of Access to Work.
You can find it here.
This info sheet comes from an experienced A2W users with years of experience. We’ve put it together so you can avoid the pitfalls that we’ve gone through!
Here is flavour of what you will find in the resource.
There is no time constraint on when you put claims in. So for example, if you are claiming for taxis to and from work, these can soon mount up. But there is nothing stopping you from putting in a claim at the end of each week. Be aware of the time involved in claiming.
Doing The Paper Work
Make sure you sign everything, otherwise, it is coming straight back to you.
When You Reapply
A2W will not necessarily inform you when you need to renew your claim so make sure you are aware of the date by which you need to reapply.
If You Change Jobs
If you change jobs, you will need to reapply for support and resupply all previous evidence.
You can apply for A2W here.
Job hunting is hard.
But like so many other things in life, job hunting can be that much harder if you have some sort of disability.
We all know the stats but I think that this one is the one to focus on: there is 50% unemployment rate amongst disabled people in the UK.
Now lets also clear something up from the start, the traditional 9-5 is not going to suit a lot of people whose conditions are different from day-to-day.
That being said, for many disabled people, it is not necessarily the nature of their conditions but other things that are holding them back.
I’ve worked a number of different roles since 2012, so I thought that I would share some of what I’ve learned.
Disabled People Have A lot of Skills
The first thing to talk about before job hunting, is what skills do you have?
If you are disabled then you probably have acquired all sorts of skills that you never realised you had.
For example, if you have a Personal Assistant, then that means you have employed and managed another person. This is amazing experience that not many people will have.
Likewise, do you constantly find yourself filling out paperwork for different things, then you won’t be too bad at admin.
Many disabled people often think that they lacks skills and experience, but skills and experience can be gained in a variety of ways.
Think about what you are good at and why.
Flexible Working and Following Your Passions
Flexible working is a now an accessible way to build your confidence. Taking on small projects can be a great way for you to build a portfolio. Working in this way can mean that you work when YOU feel able to.
It is also the case that if you want to develop your skills in certain areas such as coding or graphic design, freelance work is great way to build your experience.
Should You Volunteer?
Volunteering is a great way to build experience and further skills.
That is obvious though right?
The other thing about volunteering is that it can give you much needed confidence.
For many disabled people, the prospect of working can be very scary for a number of reasons.
- Your condition being different from day-to-day.
- Employer bias.
- Being asked to do things that you are uncomfortable.
Volunteering can put all those questions to bed by giving you the direct experience that these questions can overcome.
Do You Disclose Your Disability?
Most people see having a disability as having some sort of weakness, and in many respects it can be, but living with a disability can also endow you with many useful qualities.
Qualities such as
You can through your cover letter and interview demonstrate why your disability has helped you become the ideal person for the job.
What Help Can You Get?
Access To Work (A2W) is a government backed scheme to help disabled people into work. It can provide you with in work support, specialist equipment and access to transport.
A2W is relatively easy to apply for and can help you in all sorts of unusual ways.
For example, A2W could contribute toward the cost of a wheelchair. They could pay for someone to support you at work.
Although you may think that A2W is just going to create more paper work for you, it is a relatively straightforward process with not so much monitoring involved.