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Disabled People: Employment

Volume 687: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration they have given to the report Opportunity Blocked on the employment experiences of deaf and hard of hearing people, published by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People; and what action they will be taking on its conclusion and recommendations. [HL27]

We are currently considering the findings of the report Opportunity Blocked. We are committed to supporting people with a disability or health condition, including hearing impairment, to find suitable and sustainable work. Personal and disability employment advisers in Jobcentre Plus are trained to deal with people who, because of their disability or health condition, need extra help to move into or retain employment.

Disability employment advisers can provide specialist advice and support to individuals and employers about a range of programmes designed to help them into work. These include: work preparation; WORKSTEP; New Deal for Disabled People; and access to work. The funding for access to work has been increased each year and this year is over £63 million.

We have undertaken, and are continuing to undertake, a wide range of activities to highlight the duties of employers and service providers. The Disability Discrimination Act provides significant protection for disabled people in employment. It is now unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a disabled person in relation to the recruitment, employment or retention of staff.