HC Deb 02 July 1997 vol 297 cc203-4W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what grants and allowances for computer equipment are available to meet the specific needs of disabled people. [4378]

Mr. Field

The Government's overall objective in providing equipment to disabled people is to help them live as fully and independently as possible.

The Department for Education and Employment has the main responsibility for making grants and allowances to disabled people in order to remove barriers to employment. The largest area of support is through the Employment Service's Access to Work programme. Last year the programme helped around 10,000 disabled people with specialist support and equipment, tailored to their individual needs. No details are held on grants given specifically for the purchase of Information Technology.

In addition computers are supplied in some cases by the National Health Service, mainly as communication aids to people with communication difficulties. The National Health Service also supplies electronic environmental controls to help severely physically disabled people operate home appliances, which provide access to computers where necessary.

Grants and allowances for computer equipment are not generally available through the Social Security system.