We thought an update would be useful to let you know what is happening with the #StopChanges campaign at the moment.
We have now raised £3,100 for any potential legal cases, and are still working closely with Leigh Day and keeping an eye on the current situation. We are ready to take on any new cases which are felt necessary and hope that with the current level of uncertainty, this will offer some reassurance to AtW users. Support is and will be made available.
We are waiting for more information about the government review into AtW. Despite originally stating a three month review would take place, nine months later we are still waiting.
Work & Pension Select Committee Inquiry Response:
The report from the Access to Work inquiry held by the Work and Pensions Select Committee requires a government response. This should be received two months after the report. We are expecting to see something before 30th March as this is the last date information can be released prior to the general election.
National Framework Agreement:
#StopChanges are opposed to a new national framework being drafted for interpreting and translation services being used for AtW support, and will be supporting others who are campaigning against this.
We have been made aware of some worrying information around the development of CSWs, the first (click here) is a government website refers to being able to start work as a Communication Support Worker in settings such as schools, colleges, universities, adult education centres and work-based learning environments with Level 1 BSL. It states, in this job you would: “interpret between spoken English & BSL”, “use a range of ways to help them grasp what is required in class”, “help them produce written work”, “provide deaf-awareness training for other staff and students”. The second, (click here) shows CSW apprenticeships being developed.
Whilst these examples seem to be predominantly for educational settings (something which we too are firmly against), we have already seen how AtW have tried to impose the use of CSWs on AtW users.
We believe that only qualified trainee and registered interpreters (RSLI/TSLI) should be funded by the public purse and that choice and control for the Deaf user is key.