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Employment Schemes: Visual Impairment

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 17731, tabled on 17 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the scholarship programme for universal credit claimants announced on 26 May 2021 in partnership with Google, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that the (a) courses, (b) application process and (c) communications for that programme are accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

Answered on

22 June 2021

Google has partnered with DWP to offer free flexible online IT training for 9,000 jobseekers across the UK, developed by Google. Through the DWP National Employer and Partnership Team (NEPT), jobseekers will have access to Google IT Certificates which focuses on IT Support, Data Analyst, Project Manager and UX Designer ensuring that the labour market of tomorrow stands a better chance of getting that job. These certificates are recognised by industry experts and employers.

All of the course content and registration form is hosted on the Coursera platform. Coursera is committed to ensuring that learners with visual and hearing impairments, as well as other disabilities, are able to succeed in their courses. Coursera strives to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.1 AA published by World Wide Web Consortium. All of the course content should be compatible with these screen readers:

  • JAWS (Windows)
  • NVDA (Windows)
  • VoiceOver (iOS and Mac)
  • TalkBack (Android)

DWP work coaches have access to communications about the programme which they can tailor depending on each customers circumstances. Where customers need additional support, their work coach can explain the courses to them and are able to complete the registration on their behalf. In addition, Coursera support DWP work coach queries through a dedicated email address and 24/7 support to participants through email, online discussion forums, live chat and accessibility support tickets.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.