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Applications are now open for Digital Lifeline funding. This is an emergency response project to get devices, data and digital skills support to people with learning disabilities within tight timescales. Digital Lifeline is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and delivered by Good Things Foundation, in partnership with AbilityNet.

The project is also supported by trusted expert organisations such as Learning Disability England, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) and Digital Unite.

Open Statement from Disabled People’s Organisations and Allies (February 2021)

 

Coronavirus has hit disabled people hard. 60% of deaths from coronavirus have been those of Disabled People. Disabled People have struggled to access healthcare, social care and food and many have been left without the £20 weekly uplift given to those on Universal Credit. We ask Government and the NHS to recognise the enormous impact of coronavirus on the lives of Disabled People.  

BASE member, Matt Wood of Millwood Servicing, has formed the WoodMor Foundation to support disadvantaged people to prepare for employment. The foundation aims to increase the opportunities of employment for disabled, vulnerable or disadvantaged people aged 25 and above. To do this, they will provide an individual with an event, expedition or specialist skills training programme that aims to develop their confidence and employability. 

DHSC has written out to advise that, from the 11th of February for a period of 2 weeks, Health and Social Care Workers are able to book a vaccine appointment directly, via the National Booking service. This includes employment support workers. This can be done via https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/. Please try online booking first but if this is not possible, you can phone 119 free of charge, 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week.

DWP Ministers have agreed to continue Access to Work funding for employability activities delivered through Supported Internships through the 2020/21 academic year. This means that supported interns can continue to receive funded job coaching support for employment-related activities through Access to Work until the end of August 2021.

DWP are delivering training sessions for Access to Work. They take place from 10am to 11.30am on 1 March and 5 March.

In addition there are 2 sessions for PIP awareness from the Disability Advocacy Team. These take place from 10am to 1pm on 17 March and 23 March. The advocacy Team are keen to ensure that the places available are utilised by health professional partners, particularly those advising or supporting customers to make a claim for PIP

BASE has submitted evidence to the Cabinet Office consultation on a National Disability Strategy. The Disability Unit announced the development of a strategy last April and established regional stakeholder networks to support this.

We've had communication from the Department for Work and Pensions about the use of Access to Work within Supported Internships. Education providers have been able to claim Access to Work funding for job coaches supporting the employability of learners who are unable to be on placementt due to Covid-19. This funding was agreed to the end of January and theere has been uncertainty as to whether it will continue.

Ambitious about Autism is excited to be working with employers to bring paid work experience opportunities to young people aged 18+ years old with autism.

The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) has published a briefing note with analysis of the Labour Market Statistics published this month. The analysis mainly draws on Labour Force Survey data covering September to November 2020, supplemented by analysis of Pay As You Earn Real Time Information data, the ONS Vacancy Survey and administrative data from the benefits system on Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance.

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