Employment and welfare
It is vital blind and partially sighted people have equal opportunities when it comes to accessing the professional environment.
We at RNIB strongly support the Access to Work scheme because it enables blind and partially sighted people of working age to become economically active and independent. There are over 80,000 blind and partially sighted people of working age in the UK but only one third are currently in employment.
On 19 December 2014, the Work and Pensions Select Committee released a report about how the Access to Work scheme is currently working, and how it can be improved.
Fazilet Hadi from RNIB, said: "We welcome the Select Committee's report which recognises the vital role that Access to Work plays in supporting disabled people to find and stay in work.
"There is a clear and urgent need for the budget to be expanded and as such we support the Committee's call for the government to undertake a cost-benefit analysis.
"The report highlights the significant problems inherent in the failure to provide accessible information to blind and partially sighted claimants. Therefore RNIB also welcomes today's statement from Mark Harper outlining his commitment to ensuring communications to customers can be done via email more easily."
We also welcome the committee's recognition that "paper based communication is outdated and inaccessible". For blind and partially sighted people being sent letters and forms in paper format is often unusable and is one of the most common complaints we get. We sincerely hope that the DWP's internal review that follows this report will substantially address this problem, which is entirely unacceptable in this day and age and leaves thousands of people unable to read or respond to important communications.