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Unemployment: Hearing Impairment

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 880, tabled on 16 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to tackle high levels of unemployment among the deaf community.

Answered on

21 October 2019

The DWP has a range of programmes to help disabled people, including deaf people.

These include:

  • The Work and Heath Programme (WHP), which is working with local providers to offer co-ordinated support to those with multiple employment barriers. It will help 275,000 people over 5 years, including 220,000 disabled people.

  • Intensive Personalised Employment Support Programme (IPES): The Intensive Personalised Employment Support Programme will launch before the end of 2019. It will provide highly personalised packages of employment support for disabled people with complex and multiple barriers to work, who are at least a year away from moving into work without the support on the programme.

  • Through the Disability Confident scheme, we are working with employers to change attitudes and create employment opportunities by enabling businesses to recruit and retain disabled people in their workplace. There are already over 13,600 employers signed up to Disability Confident scheme, and their number continues to grow.

  • Access to Work offers eligible disabled people a grant of up to £59,200 per year to fund support above the level of reasonable adjustments, to ensure that their health condition or disability does not hold them back in the workplace. People who are deaf and hard of hearing are the largest group of users of Access to Work, and in 2018/19 Access to Work grants totalled £129m, of which £45.8m was in respect of this group.
  • Jobcentre Plus: Our Jobcentres offer tailored support from Work Coaches and Disability Employment Advisers, backed by the Personal Support Package which is a 4 year, £330 million package of employment support targeted at claimants with disabilities and health conditions.