Utilize Assistive Technology with the Access to Work Scheme
Speech technology is widely used in various professional sectors, but did you know it is also a form of assistive technology?
If you are affected by physical or mental illness that prohibits you fulfilling your job role, then you are eligible for the Access to Work scheme. Here at VoicePower, we are proud to support this government scheme, with which you can receive funding for technology that assists you in the workplace.
Who Benefits from Access to Work?
There are various conditions that warrant for government funding, some minor and others severe with which assistive technology is paramount to maintaining their career.
Some examples of illnesses that require support in a professional setting are:
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) – such as carpal tunnel, tendinitis or intersection syndrome.
- Learning impairment – Dyslexia or dyspraxia.
- Physical disability – multiple sclerosis, deaf or blind.
Evidently, you must also have or be about to start a paid job.
Speech recognition, is of course only one form of assistive technology. Access to Work can fund products such as physiotherapy, office equipment (such as chairs, wireless headsets) or assistive software such as TextHelp.
Read our article, featuring Dyslexia advocate John Hicks here to learn how speech recognition can empower those with Dyslexia.
Changes to the Scheme
As of the 11th of February 2019, disabled employees will be able to benefit from almost £60,000 a year to assist them at work. People will now be able to claim up to £59,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace through the government’s Access to Work scheme. This can include workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters (Gov UK).
How to Apply
Firstly, speak to your employer. They must make certain changes, known as ‘reasonable adjustments’, to make sure you’re not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changing your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job (Gov UK).
If you have already done this and feel as though you need further support, you can then apply for Access to Work.
You can do this over the phone or online. The full contact details needed to apply for this scheme are available at the bottom of this article.
Speech Recognition and Access to Work
If you require voice recognition or digital dictation software or/and accessories to support you at work, then we can help. We work closely with existing clients to ensure they can do their job to the best of their ability; and we’re always willing to accept new applications.
All we need in order to process an Access to Work order, we need to see
Dragon Helps Finance Professional Achieve Goals
We thought it would be helpful to share Daisy’s story. Daisy works in the financial industry and is registered blind. She came across speech recognition following an Access to Work assessment. Daisy was based in a busy office and it was suggested she use Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
We wanted to ensure that Daisy was getting maximum value out of her speech recognition software. Therefore we provided Daisy with four training sessions. Daisy said of her training with VoicePower: “It was top-class, and the team at VoicePower clearly know their stuff. Not just about how to get the best out of Dragon, but about what else I would need to help me.”
Using Dragon, Daisy now replies easily to emails and keeps on top of her inbox, while creating Word documents.
When asked about her experience, Daisy confirmed that “Dragon has made Word very easy to use, and I really like the Voice Command functions that help me control the PC. It really is ideal for my type of disability and certainly easier than learning Braille. It is a remarkable product”.
If you would like to find out more about the products and services that we provide here at VoicePower, click here. Alternatively, if you would like an Access to Work quote, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Apply for Access to work on 0800 121 7479 or visit https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply