Access to Work – making employment possible

This is despite groundbreaking advances in technology enabling disabled people to be more independent, and more people raising awareness of disability in a positive and empowering way.

What is Access To Work?

Access To Work is a scheme run by the Department For Work and Pensions (DWP) that funds extra costs for disabled people to access employment. Sounds great, right? Read on to find out more!

Employers are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the workplace to ensure disabled people aren’t disadvantaged. This could include adapting the work environment, or changing the working hours. If these changes aren’t sufficient, or the reasonable adjustments incur extra costs, that is where Access to Work comes in very handy.

Access To Work can support you if you are in paid work, or about to start paid work. This can include self-employment, an apprenticeship, work experience or an internship. Unfortunately, it can’t be used to support you if you are volunteering.

What can Access to Work pay for?

Access to Work is there to fund the support that would help you in the workplace. This can include:

  • The cost of travelling to and from and within work, including taxi fares or a support worker, if there are no suitable public transport options available
  • Adaptations to equipment or the work environment, for example a screen reader or magnification software for a computer. Access to Work can also fund training if using any software is new to you, or you just want some additional guidance.
  • Specialist equipment, including refreshable Braille displays and electronic magnifiers
  • Employment of a support worker, for example if your role involves using systems that aren’t accessible with assistive technology, or for support with accessing visual information, for example paperwork
  • Disability awareness training for your colleagues, for example visual impairment awareness training

How much can you claim?

The maximum amount you can claim depends on the financial year; each new financial year begins on 1st April and ends 31st March the following calendar year. You can find out the maximum grant you are entitled to by visiting the Access To Work website.

It is important to note that if you apply for Access to Work more than six weeks after starting a new job, your employer will have to contribute to some of the costs. We highly recommend applying for Access to Work support as soon as possible – you can apply as soon as you have a start date, so before you start in the role.

Find out more!

In this video, we give a brief overview of Access to Work and what the grant can be used to purchase. Also, hear from George, a Henshaws employee who has been using Access to Work for over a decade.

To find out more about Access to Work, visit the Access To Work page on

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