Event: Report launch by the APPG on Assistive Technology

15th July sees the launch of a new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive TechnologyTalent & Technology: Building bridges to employment for disabled people, with keynote speeches from Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson MP, Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee and Julia Green, BASE Chair. The report is embargoed until 15 July but we'll post it on our Knowledge pages after that.

You can register to attend the event at https://www.policyconnect.org.uk/events/talent-and-technology-building-bridges-employment-disabled-people

In an age when digital is no longer optional for finding work, it is crucial that disabled people have full digital access, including access to assistive technologies (AT).  The UK, already a world-leader in the development of assistive technologies, should harness the power of these tools and inclusive practices to make the world of work accessible to all.

Assistive technology represents an enormous opportunity to remove barriers to employment for disabled people.  This inquiry has seen first-hand its powerful benefits, with examples including a visually-impaired person using a screen reader to access a recruiting site, a person with Muscular Dystrophy using a mouth stick to navigate an application form, and an autistic person using a specialised app to help them travel to an interview.

Unfortunately, it has also heard difficult stories of disabled people unable to look for and obtain work, due to a lack of technology and the skills to use it.  Disabled people are repeatedly shut out of the very schemes designed to offer a starting point in careers, such as apprenticeships or employment support through the job centre. 

The pandemic has shone an even brighter light on existing digital inequalities and has completely changed the way we work. It’s against that background that this report makes recommendations to government, education providers, and employers - on how to ensure the world of work is accessible to everyone.