Access to Work

Access to Work. How it should work for a business person with a disability

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Access to Work is a government funded body whose remit is to support disabled people retain or access employment. If you are registered as self employed with the Inland Revenue or own a limited company. You can apply to them for assistance. How can they help? They can help fund the following.

• Adaptive and supportive technology
• Environment adaptations
• Employer training and awareness
• Employee training
• Mentoring
• Travelling to and for work
• Readers and support workers

For small business owners the prospect of approaching and dealing with a government department can be daunting, slow and lengthy process.

Here are a few simple guidelines that may help.

• Always remember that any assistance asked for must be based on your disability needs not on your business needs.
• Research the supportive technology that suits your needs before applying, so as you can give a clear picture of the help you need.
• If you are a business start up prepare a business plan, if your are already in business you may need to supply accounts or proof of earnings
• If you are applying for help with travel or a support worker as a self employed person or business start up, your needs may vary over the course of a year, so prepare a snapshot of the assistance you need based on your busiest month

If you do seek professional advice from specialists, such as business advisors in helping you apply to Access to Work. Make sure they have experience in this field and that the advice they give is based on your best interests not on any government or local government contracts they maybe tied to. It’s always a good idea to ask, if they are members of a professional body and have a code of practice.

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