There are now more disabled people in work than not in work – and top new assistive technology developments will help make the workplace even more accessible in 2019.
From the smartphone in your pocket, the alarm in your watch to the satnav in the car; assistive technology helps you work, socialise and connect with others.
Assistive technology helps unlock human potential and new developments are further opening up opportunities for disabled people in the workplace – in addition, the Government’s Access to Work grant can help pay for it.
So what’s new?
Live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint and Skype
Using AI, Microsoft launched live captions and subtitles in Skype in December and will be introducing those features to PowerPoint in early 2019, making workplace meetings, conversations and presentations more accessible to deaf people and those who are hard of hearing.
More features for app that helps people with dyslexia give presentations
Created by a student with dyslexia, Present Pal is a presentation software designed to help people with dyslexia give presentations. The app works on a smartphone or tablet like a set of interactive flash cards – and in December the company behind it was handed a grant to add more features to it.
“Disabled people have a valuable contribution to make in the workplace, but too often they are held back from achieving their full potential. Assistive technology is key to unlocking this untapped pool of talent and creating more inclusive workforces and we are committed to helping disabled people thrive by working with employers and through our schemes like Access to Work.”
Access to Work
Access to Work (AtW) is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support for people who have a disability or long term physical or mental health condition.
Access to Work can help pay for assistive technology in the workplace to ensure someone’s disability or health condition doesn’t hold them back – up to £57,200, per person per year.
Access to Work can help employers:
- hire disabled people with the skills you need
- retain an employee who develops a disability or long-term condition
- show that you value and will support your employees by having good employment policies and practices.
Access to Work can help employees with:
- aid and equipment in the workplace
- adapting equipment to make it easier for them to use
- travel to work, and travel in work
- communication support at interviews
- a wide variety of support workers, and
- the Mental Health Support Service
For more information on Access to Work visit the government’s Access to Work site.