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APPGAT submits evidence to Select Committee Inquiry on AT

APPGAT submits evidence to Select Committee Inquiry on AT

15th February 2018

The Government has set a target to help a million more disabled people into work by 2027. That means almost halving the gap between the disabled employment rate (49%) and the rate for non-disabled people (81%). As the APPG for Assistive Technology, we know that this ambitious target cannot be met unless we make the most of modern technology to make work more accessible. Policy - around training, awareness, provision and innovation - needs to catch up with the amazing advances in assistive technology.

So we were delighted to see that the Work and Pensions Select Committee has launched an inquiry into assistive technology and employment. The Committee - which includes APPGAT supporters Alex Burghart MP (Conservative) and Neil Coyle MP (Labour) - has taken written evidence from stakeholders including AT users, employers, and Government itself. As the APPGAT, we drew on input from our associate member organisations, and findings from our Parliamentary events to make a group submission of evidence to the committee. The submission was accepted and is now published on the parliament.uk website - you can also read it as a PDF from the download link in this article.

On the 31st of January the Committee took oral evidence from stakeholders, including representatives from APPGAT associate member organisations: Hector Minto (Microsoft,) and  Robin Christopherson (AbilityNet) - pictured above.  

Several key themes emerged from the hearing and written evidence: the need for greater access to assistive technology before a person is in employment; the importance of employer buy-in so that AT use is supported by both the culture and wider IT infrastructure of the workplace; and the potential for Government to do more to encourage innovations that will mainstream assistive technology.

We look forward to continuing to engage with the Inquiry and reviewing the recommendations in the final report.

(Picture credit: screenshot of parliamentlive.tv. parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament)