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Recruitment: Visual Impairment

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 115445, tabled on 23 November 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he has taken to ensure that visually impaired job applicants are guaranteed adequate magnification facilities on workplace computers, and that they are not discriminated against in job application processes.

Answered on

1 December 2017

Under the Equality Act (2010), employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for employees who have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. When a disabled person thinks they might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, they should contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service here: https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/

Most, if not all, computer operating systems have screen magnification options built into their Accessibility settings. Physical screen magnifying equipment is not usually expensive and may well fall within the scope of a reasonable adjustment. However, if there are any instances where expensive specialist screen magnification equipment is required for an employee or a job applicant, it may be possible for Access to Work (ATW) to support its provision.

Access to Work is a demand-led, discretionary grant scheme which provides practical and financial support with the additional costs faced by individuals whose health or disability affects the way they do their job. The scheme does not replace the duty an employer has under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments. Instead it provides support that is over and above that which is a reasonable adjustment. More information about Access to Work can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work.

We are promoting the skills and talents of disabled people and those with long term health conditions to employers through the Disability Confident Scheme. The Scheme focuses on the role of employers, who have a crucial role to play in ensuring disabled people are recruited, retained and developed in their careers. We are also using Disability Confident to disseminate information about employers’ responsibilities and the support available for both employers and individuals. You can find out more about Disability Confident here: https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/