For a number of years the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has been seeking to reduce the expenditure of its Access to Work Programme in order to safeguard public resources.
In 2015 the DWP set a budget cap of £43,100 (1.5 times average earnings) for an individual Deaf person using Sign Language Interpreters, which was to come in to final force on the 1st of April 2018.
UKCoD has been in discussions with the DWP highlighting the effects of the reduction in expenditure, particularly a cap on the ATW funding for individuals. UKCoD has articulated that this limit would prevent Deaf individuals reaching the pinnacle of their profession and would stifle the aspirations of younger Deaf people.
The sterling support from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness led by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, the excellent work of Darren Townsend-Handscomb, DeafAtW, the Employment Sub-Group and a number of prominent Deaf individuals (one of such is Toby Burton, Chief Finance Officer for The Economist), has paved the way for the Minister of Disabled people, Sarah Newton MP, to announce that the Government will increase the cap of ATW funding per individual to £57,200 (double average earnings).
The UKCoD Board of Trustees are delighted with this announcement and we look forward to future discussions with the government, through the APPG, about the many issues that affect the lives of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened and Deafblind people every day.
Sarah Newton MP Statement [pdf]
UKCoD Press Release