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Jobcentres: Assistive Technology

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 48248, tabled on 6 September 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many jobcentres have specialist assistive technology installed on their customer computer kiosks.

Answered on

16 September 2022

We do not hold the information requested around costs for deployment of screen readers, speech recognition software and screen magnification software to our computers for use by customers. This is because the computers contain these products as a standard feature and were not purchased separately. These products are kept up to date and maintained in line with updates to the system as a whole.

DWP has completed an upgrade of all Customer Computers across the whole Jobcentre network which means that all devices provided for use by customers have the standard accessibility features available such as being able to change the screen size & colour, replacing sounds with screen alerts, converting sounds to text and using the screen reader to read text.

We now have over 7973 devices across our estate, registered with these accessibility features. The numbers of computers available for customers to use in jobcentres will differ between larger and smaller offices. We also constantly review the number of computers available and have capacity to increase the number of devices quickly, if the need arises.

The software in use on these machines is continually upgraded as and when required to ensure their continued use for customers. In addition to this further support is available to customers where reasonable adjustments are identified and recorded. Each Jobcentre District Office has been provided with the following items for use by customers if requested:

  • A keyboard with larger keys
  • A large trackball mouse
  • Headphones. However, many people will want to use their own

We have opened a number of new sites across the estate to support delivery of face to face public services. As part of this work, Customer Computers are available in these sites.

We have also improved access to our Wi-Fi services in all jobcentres, allowing customers to use their own personal devices if they prefer, to access internet services.