§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last three years(a) to produce public information in alternative formats for visually impaired people and (b) to publicise the availability of accessible information among visually impaired people.
§ Mr. Hague
The Department has spent the following amounts over the last three years:
Year £ a) 1992–93 137,352.63 1993–94 200,053.92 1994–95 606,766.43(to date)b) Although no precise figure can be identified for publicising accessible information, the needs of visually impaired people are taken into account when publicity strategies are developed and would therefore be included in our overall publicity plans. Intermediaries and advisers are alerted to the availability of suitable formats.
Although no precise figure can be identified for publicising accessible information, the needs of visually impaired people are taken into account when publicity strategies are developed and would therefore be included in our overall publicity plans. Intermediaries and advisers are alerted to the availability of suitable formats.
§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will say which departmental publications are currently available(a) in Braille, (b) in large print and 376W (c) on tape; and if he will show what efforts have been made by his Department to inform visually impaired people about the availability of publications in alternative formats to normal print.
§ Mr. Hague
The tables show publications and documents available in alternative formats. A catalogue of all publicity material available from the Benefits Agency and a guide to social security for blind and partially sighted people have been placed in the Library.
The consultation document on Government measures to tackle discrimination against disabled people, published on 15 July, made clear the Government's intention to seek to increase the range of information provided in these formats, and the Department will be taking an active role in progressing this work.
The Department automatically considers all alternative formats when preparing new or updated publicity material and now has its own Braillemaster, which is used to provide quantities of documents in Braille whenever possible. The Child Support Agency also has access to this facility.
Every DSS agency follows RNIB guidelines when producing forms and leaflets with regard to type and size. The War Pensions Agency has facilities for producing letters and leaflets in Braille but has not been requested to do so as yet. It is also considering the possibility of "talking" newspapers.
The Benefits Agency has a contract with the RNIB, which produces materials in Braille on its behalf. The RNIB advertises the availability of alternative formats of publications in its magazines. The Benefits Agency also runs the benefit enquiry line, which gives free advice to people with disabilities and to their carers. The service extends to a textphone line and a forms completion service.
In April 1994, the Benefits Agency ran a nationally co-ordinated programme of local information activities aimed at raising the awareness of the services and information it provides for people with disabilities, including the visually impaired. The initiative also sought to increase the awareness among staff of the needs of their customers in this sector. The period of activities ran for two weeks and included radio phone-ins, local exhibitions and a mailing to intermediaries.
An information pack, DIS 10 "Information and services for people with disabilities" was produced, part of which focused on services and material for blind and partially sighted people. The pack was used by the district information officers at local exhibitions, events and benefit surgeries. It was also mailed to appropriate disability groups and intermediaries. The Benefits Agency and DSS headquarters took part in the NAIDEX exhibition on the interdepartmental Government stand. The exhibition runs over three days and attracts approximately 10,000 people.
The Benefits Agency used a series of panels to present information about the services it provides and materials it has produced in alternative formats. A range of leaflets were available with some in large print and audio cassette format.
The Benefits Agency has planned to produce another 12 leaflets in Braille, production will be completed by April 1995.377W
The Child Support Agency has recently published an ASCII computer disk version of "for parents who live apart". This allows the visually impaired who have access to a computer to read in the disk and display it in a format which suits their visual impairment. The Child Support Agency has had contact with the RNIB regarding the advertising the ASCII computer disk and the other materials in its magazine. The agency's own publicity literature is constantly being updated to alert people to this material for the visually impaired.
Documents available in Braille Consultation Document (Complete) Disability on the Agenda Consultation Document (Summary) Disability on the Agenda DSS 722 Taking the Plunge Enable Response Material SEC 1(B) Summary of Pensions White Paper CSA For People who Live Apart DIS 10 Information and Services for People with Disabilities CTB 1 Help with Council Tax DS 702 Attendance Allowance DS 703 Disability Working Allowance DS 704 Disability Living Allowance FB 2 Which Benefit FB 4 Cash Help while you're Working FB 6 Retiring? FB 8 Babies and Benefits FB 9 Unemployed FB 19 Social Security Benefits—A Guide for Blind and Partially Sighted People FB 23 Young People's Guide to Social Security FB 26 Voluntary and Part-time Workers FB 27 Bringing up children? FB 28 Sick or Disabled FB 30 Self-employed? FB 31 Caring for Someone? FB 32 Benefits after Retirement IS 1 Income Support IS 26 Income Support if you are 16 or 17 NI 6 Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit NI 16A Invalidity Benefit NI 196 Social Security Benefit Rates NI 246 How to Appeal NI 252 Severe Disablement Allowance RR 1 Housing Benefit—Help with Your Rent CSA 2020 For Parents who Live Apart SFL 2 How the Social Fund can Help You Z 3 Your Social Security Benefits and Compensation
Documents Available in Large Print FB 19 Social Security Benefits - A Guide for Blind and Partially Sighted People DLA Claim Pack DWA Claim Pack CSA 2049 For Parents who Live Apart
Documents available as Audio Cassettes DS 712 New benefits for Disabled People, including People with Learning Difficulties. (Various Languages) DS 706 New Benefits for Disabled People. (Various Languages) DS 721 Taking the Plunge DSS Working with Benefits (Various Languages) Community Care Charges Caring for People (Various Languages) CSA For Parents who Live Apart New Start Newspaper Issue 1 Working for People with Disabilities New Start Newspaper Issue 2 Working for People with Disabilities New Start Newspaper Issue 3 Working for People with Disabilities New Start Newspaper Issue 4 Working for People with Disabilities New Start Newspaper Issue 5 Working for People with Disabilities Jobhunters Guide to In-Work Benefits Incapacity Benefit Summary Leaflet Consultation Document (Complete and Summary) Disability on the Agenda Enable Response Material PP 1 Thinking about a Personal Pension Sec 1 (A) Summary of Pensions White Paper Incapacity Benefit Medical Assessment Incapacity Benefit Consultation on the Medical Assessment DWA What's it About—Guide to DWA DS 722 Taking the Plunge FB 19 Social Security Benefits—A Guide for Blind and Partially Sighted People TA 1 Out of Work TA 2 Benefits for Working People CSA 2029 For Parents who Live Apart