Beyond Words is developing four new picture books to help people with learning disabilities and autism access work. 

  • Going to work: Aimed at older people, perhaps looking to enter work for the first time 

  • Moving On: Aimed at young people, and the transition between school and work 

NHS England is conducting an audit of organisations providing employment support for people using secondary mental health services. The audit will establish a baseline position prior to NHS England inviting bids for targeted investment in the expansion of IPS (Individual Placement and Support) provision later this year. 

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published its report into Local Support for People with a Learning Disability  There are an estimated 930,000 adults with a learning disability in England, 129,000 of whom receive local authority social care support. There are approximately 2,500 people with a learning disability who are living in mental health hospitals.

It has been confirmed that DWP's supported employment proof of concept trials are to be delayed by the announcement of the general election on 8 June. We were expecting an imminent announcement about which local authorities have been selected to take part but this has now been put on hold. DWP will be writing to all those local authorities that submitted expressions of interest to update them on the situation. 

BASE has been contracted to review and update the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Supported Employment Practitioners. We need your help to ensure that the revised standards are suitable for the sector and have launched a survey which is now open until 19 May.

The original NOS were written in 2012 and you can view them at

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a report, "Being disabled in Britain: A journey less equal." that looks at the experiences of people with a disability in the UK today. It builds on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s statutory five-yearly report on equality and human rights progress in England, Scotland and Wales, Is Britain Fairer?. The report found a lack of equal opportunities in education and employment

March 27 to April 2 is World Autism Awareness Week. 1 in 100 children in the UK have an autistic spectrum condition – that’s 8,000 school leavers each year. But less than 25% go on to further or higher education, only 16% of all adults with autism work and just 4% live independently. Something clearly needs to change.

DWP has released the third Q&A Briefing for the DWP Local Supported Employment proof of concept. This is the final briefing to be issued.

Expressions of interest close on 27 March.


March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day. 


In a response from Government to the Work and Pensions Committee,  DWP downplays the impact of the problems in the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) on claimants and local councils, claiming that rent arrears associated with UC “are likely to be of a short duration” and “should not present an insurmountable obstacle to landlords”. This is despite its own analysts urging caution about drawing conclusions from historic data, based on a small number of cases.  The Government was unable to provide any of the basic, up-to-date, specific data that the Committee asked for.