§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what consideration he has given to the employment and training needs of deaf-blind people.
[holding answer 29 October 1990]My Department provides a service for all people with disabilities treating each as an individual and identifying the most appropriate action. People who are deaf-blind can use the full range of Employment Department services available to anyone with a disability including those services offered by the network of employment rehabilitation centres and ASSET centres. Through them we have been able to refer some deaf-blind people for specialist help through the close links maintained with organisations such as RNIB and SENSE. As outlined in the consultative document, "Employment and Training for People with Disabilities", we are intending to expand access to specialist help further by increasingly providing employment rehabilitation through agents such as voluntary bodies. We are also intending to strengthen the training given to disablement resettlement officers and the disablement advisory service with a view to providing a more professional and effective service.
In training we try to encourage integrated provision although there is specialist help available mainly through the residential providers which cater for the particular needs of deaf-blind trainees. Training and enterprise councils now have responsibility for co-ordinating training locally and they will address the particular needs of their local community which may include developing provision for deaf-blind trainees.
§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether hearing and sight impaired communication equipment is available to deaf-blind people through the disablement advisory service.
[holding answer 29 October 1990]: Questions on operational matters in the Employment Service executive agency are the responsibility of Mike Fogden, the Agency's chief executive, to whom I have referred this question for reply.