Before applying to Access to Work it’s a good idea to do some research on the support you need. If you are applying for equipment, knowing what is available will help speed up the application and get you the equipment which will best suit your needs.

The first thing you need to do is identify what you need. Will your new business mean you will be doing more reading, answering the phone, taking notes, etc… Modern equipment can make these jobs easier and more efficient, enabling you to concentrate on your business.

Have a think about the tasks you will be undertaking and make a list of the jobs you will struggle with.

A good place to find the right equipment to enable you to run your business is an organisation who specialises in your disability. E.g. if you were visually impaired I would contact the RNIB or your local charity. If I was dyslexic I would speak with a local dyslexic support organisation. These organisations should have lots of information on equipment which could make your business life a lot easier.

Another place to look is the internet. Doing a search such as, “deaf equipment” or visual impairment equipment” will bring up companies who specialise in disability solutions.

These companies will arrange demonstrations at your home, which will give you a good idea if it suits your needs.

It is important to remember that the person who best who understands your disability is you! Any equipment people recommend will need to be tested to see if it’s suitable for your business. Remember, before trying out the equipment take with you what the equipment will be used for. For example if I was looking for equipment which would make it easier for me to read, I would take with me some business documents which i would be using on a daily basis.

Another place to view equipment is a trade show were companies show off the latest products. These events tend to be very busy, so it could be difficult to get a decent demo. If you see a piece of equipment you like, try to arrange a demo at home.

Then all you need to do is contact Access to Work and arrange a meeting.