Access to Work – What can a disabled entrepreneur apply for?

Blind business person using CCTVAccess to Work is a Government organisation that can provide equipment or support to enable a disabled person to run their business, so long as it is for disability needs.

For example, it would be essential for a visually impaired plumber to transport himself and his equipment to a client. It would be almost impossible for the plumber to take all of his equipment, materials and the client’s new boiler on a bus or put it in the back of a taxi. Therefore Access to Work would consider funding a driver to take the plumber to the client.

Likewise Access to Work would not fund the support worker to help lift the boiler out of the van, as a plumber would need an employee to do that anyway. An employee for this job would be considered a business need and not a disability need.

As a disabled entrepreneur you may be eligible for assistive technology to enable you to carry out your daily work duties. There is a vast array of equipment out there, from electronic magnifiers to help the visually impaired to sophisticated hearing loop systems for the hearing impaired.

For example, due to the plumber’s eyesight he might have problems reading the instructions to fit the new boiler. Access to Work might then consider funding a hand held electronic magnifier so he can read the instructions.

Access to Work is unlikely to fund a computer, as the majority of businesses would need a computer anyway. A computer would be considered a business need and not a disability need.

To apply to Access to Work contact your local job centre.

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