Monthly Archives: June 2014

BSL Submissions to Work & Pension Select Committee Inquiry

BSL users are able to submit to the Work & Pensions a Select Committee inquiry in BSL. The deadline for BSL submissions is Friday 1st August.

Watch BSL clip here.

The clip doesn’t have to be translated (although it asks for an English translation if possible). If you are going to send in a BSL clip contact:

Or telephone: 020 7219 4835

This is just to help parliament prepare for the number of translations needed.

Video submissions need to be emailed to:



2 Days


3 Days


4 Days


DWP review & Select Committee inquiry confusion

There seems to be a lot of confusion around at the moment due to the two pieces of work being undertaken by government in regards to Access to Work.

There is still a lack of clarify around the DWP review and what it will involve (e.g. will it be a public consultation or an internal review). If the review is made over the summer (as expected), then we presume it will be completed by the end of September, however this has yet to be announced.

The Committee inquiry is separate from the DWP review.

The Committee’s inquiry will be different; it will be far broader, looking at all aspects of the operation of AtW, not just those which impact on deaf people. It will take longer to complete, reporting later in the year (approximately November time).

Committee reports make recommendations to the Government.

The Government is not obliged to accept the Committee’s recommendations but is expected to respond within two months.

As it is not certain whether or not a consultation will happen as part of the DWP review, it is important you submit to the inquiry. This could be the only chance you have to feedback your experiences.

There are just 8 days left to submit evidence to the inquiry.

Ministerial Statement – issued today.

Mike Penning has issued the following statement:

Written Ministerial Statement
Tuesday 10 June 2014

The Minister for Disabled People (Mike Penning MP): Access to Work helps over 30,000 disabled people to take up and remain in employment each year, providing support such as specialist aids and equipment, travel to work and support workers.

This Government has expanded and strengthened this important programme by increasing the budget and implementing a wide range of improvements. As a result, volumes and expenditure on Access to Work have increased over recent years, meaning more disabled people are now being supported to fulfil their potential in the workplace. This progress has been shaped by important reviews undertaken by Liz Sayce and an Expert Panel chaired by Mike Adams.

I want to continue to build on this success so that Access to Work can support more claimants per year. That is why I have asked that over a three month period, we now look into Access to Work, focusing on how we can support more disabled people and further improve customer service. I will set out further details on next steps shortly.

Whilst we undertake this work I am also suspending Access to Work’s 30-hour guidance for new claimants. This operational guidance stated that if a Support Worker is required full-time, for example 30 hours or more a week, Access to Work will normally provide funding on the basis of an annual salary rather than a freelance rate. Having listened to concerns about its practical effect, notably on the ability of some deaf customers to source appropriate British Sign Language support, this guidance will not be applied to new cases pending the completion of this work.

Unfortunately it doesn’t make what is happening any clearer or explain whether the governments review will involve a consultation. Therefore we think it’s even more important that people submit evidence to the Work & Pensions Select Committee review. The deadline to this review is:

Friday 20th June 2014.

You only have 10 days remaining. For more information, see our previous posts, or go to the governments website and view details of the inquiry here.

The Stop Changes to Access to Work will be making a written submission, but the more voices that are being heard, the more chance there is that we will be listened to. It is because of your campaigning that any of this is happening, so please don’t waste the opportunity to have your say.

How to submit to the Work & Pensions Select Committee Inquiry…

We fully recognise that the inquiry into Access to Work is currently not accessible to BSL users, however this is being looked into and as soon as more information is available, we will let you know.

Information can be found on too, so please keep checking this. DeafAtW now has BSL clips and is regularly updated.

To submit written evidence to any select committee inquiry, there are guidelines that you need to follow. These can be found here.

Guidance on submitting written evidence to an inquiry

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

Each submission should:

* state clearly who the submission is from, i.e. whether from yourself in a personal capacity or sent on behalf of an organisation
* be about 3,000 words in length / run to no more than six sides of A4 paper;
* as far as possible comprise a single document attachment to the email;
* begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
have numbered paragraphs;
* be in Word or Rich Text format (not PDF) with as little use of colour or logos as possible.

Please supply a postal address so a copy of the Committee’s report can be sent to you upon publication.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence would send their contact details separately in a covering email in a block of text laid out vertically. You should also be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Though there is a strong preference for emailed submissions, those without access to a computer should send a hard copy to:

Committee Assistant
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Committee Office
House of Commons
7 Millbank London

The website contains further information that we would recommend reading.