§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what consideration has been given by his Department to the provision of communication support in the workplace for deaf employees;
(2) what action has been taken by his Department as a follow up to the "Evaluation of Special Schemes to Employment" report in October 1990.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
[ holding answer 29 June 1993]: As a follow-up to the evaluation of special schemes report, which was published in October 1990, we have asked the Employment Service to introduce in April 1994 a new major programme called "Access to Work". This will offer people with disabilities a wider range of assistance than is currently available, including communication support for deaf people in the workplace. I believe "Access to Work" will provide more people with disabilities with the help to take up opportunities of employment. In addition, from 5 July 1993, unemployed deaf people will be able to get help towards the cost of communicators at job interviews. Trials of other forms of communicator support will be taking place in four locations in 1993 and lessons learned will be taken into account in "Access to Work". Further details on "Access to Work" were provided in the reply from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd, North-West (Mr. Richards) on 22 June, Official Report, columns 102–103.