Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Access to Work: Is it viable, or the right way ahead ?

Image result for access to work logoMuch is written about the anger of deaf people having their financial support to work being capped, making a job very difficult to get or maintain.  examples of caps are listed below...

The annual cap (limit)  is:

1st October 2015 to 31st March 2016 £40,800
1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 £41,400
1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 £42,100

I'm absolutely staggered the lower limit is as HIGH as £42K a year, it is more than some get as a regular wage.  Prior to caps there were some deaf getting twice that allowance, one deaf adult whose support went into the £100K a year range.... and still failed to attain the qualification needed...   Expectation and realism wasn't even considered. The criteria seems to suggest you have to be IN work first and it has to be a viable proposition with a future. Employers are not liable for the main costs.

One wonders if paying a deaf person £42K a year to support them to empty dustbins e.g. is the best way to attain equality. We would rather see the deaf get a valid education and taught alternative communication options that create their need for expensive help,  and so that it helps to pre-empt dependency on others, makes them more employable.  Access support seems to not identify which jobs deaf should be supported to maintain.   

It does seem those most wanting the A2W grants are amid the higher functioning deaf too.  The bottom line seems not the finance but, what is being gained by deaf people as a result of near a £1,000 per week subsidy in some cases. This does not seem a pro-active way of enhancing deaf access to employment, or to avoid questions of, could not that money be used more effectively elsewhere ?

Is this funding, advancing deaf access in real terms ?  Is there a better way of enabling deaf people than paying huge sums of money to do a job that may even not be full time ?  May cost more than if being paid to do it ?  it's financing our own patronage.  The basic issue is not so much the 'caps' on allowances as the fact their support are demanding ever higher fees. 
  
Reading concerns by deaf people, a lot appears to emanate from the area of the 'Arts' (Theatre, film etc). Of course most are from cities not rural or semi rural areas, where such jobs don't exist anyway, and where many deaf have no work options at all...  It would certainly affect those urban areas because of the high costs of living in those areas.

Do we get explanations of A2W issues away from such areas ? we don't.    Are deaf  getting a £1,000 a week support too ? NOT, where we live, where 67% have never had a full time job of any kind.   Wouldn't upwards of £42K a year be better utilised creating real work ?  None of that money goes TO the deaf.

There is no real breakdown of 

(A) What type of work is being supported ? Sustainable ? or not ?

(B)  Will it enable/empower that deaf person to seek a job anywhere else without it ?  

(C) What jobs are there that using support would NOT be a viable proposition ?

(D)  At what point is a job deemed to be going nowhere in real terms ?  

Health and safety rulings would prevent many deaf taking up some jobs, with  support or without it.  At some point we maybe have to ask what upper limits do deaf want,  up to £80,000 a year ? more ? no limits ?  If we are paying people to keep deaf in a job that is far higher than any wage they could hope to ask for, that puts NO onus on employers to accept their obligations, or incentives the deaf person to do more, something has to give doesn't it ?  

Basically we are paying for deaf to have access, because employers don't respect the equality laws...  Can't help feeling we are aiding and abetting them.  I feel sure I could make a passable independent living if they gave me £1,000 a week, but, the A2W criteria sates you cannot use money for that.. so it is paying for deaf to do jobs with no future ?  To gain experience for jobs they won't be hired for anyway ?