Ian Macrae ian.macrae at disabilitynow.org.uk
Thu Feb 27 10:41:38 GMT 2014

the logical follow-on from that, Clive and all is that there will be employers who may have been initially reluctant to employ a disabled person but reassured by claims of support technology which turns out not to be as miraculous as its sold to be.  When they are next recruiting and another disabled person shows up that reluctance will return and be re-enforced by their previous experience.  Having said that, I believe that on the provision and service front where the interface is directly between the Blind/PS customer and the specialist supplier, the battle should be primarily fought on that territory.

Ian Macrae
Disability Now
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On 27 Feb 2014, at 10:32, <Clive.Lever at kent.gov.uk<mailto:Clive.Lever at kent.gov.uk>> <Clive.Lever at kent.gov.uk<mailto:Clive.Lever at kent.gov.uk>> wrote:

Hello Alan,

I agree, and would remind people that maybe it is a little insular for us to deal with this as if the disabled person using the access technology is the only person affected when the service goes wrong. If you cannot work effectively because you are getting poor service from your access technology provider, then through no fault of yours your employers are not getting value for money either. They are being sold short in two ways. First because the disabled person is not being enabled to give of their best because of the shortcomings of the provider; secondly because the DWP's access to work scheme demands employer contributions. So that employer also has a stake in this: you are not getting what you need, they are not getting what they are paying for. For this reason, the issue needs to be tackled in the mainstream, and disabled people and their employers should surely come together fight poor performance in the access technology industry. However, weapons need to be chosen c
artfully, so that perceived poor performance in the industry doesn't serve as a deterrent to other employers who have not yet taken on staff who need assistive technology, but could consider doing so in the future.
Anyone who works in the public sector would also do well to remember that tackling the disadvantage caused by poor performance is part of what they are expected to do under the public sector duty to promote equality between different groups, and many will have written policies which express their commitment to tackling disadvantage, eliminating discrimination, and so on.

I've used the term 'disabled person' in this email to recognise the fact that blind and partially-sighted people are by no means the only people needing and using different forms of access technology.  For all we know, some of them may be having similar discussions.


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