Access to Work - practical help at work
Access to Work (NI) can help people with disabilities who wish to take up employment or who are in work and experience difficulty related to their disability. It can also help employers who wish to recruit or retain people with disabilities in employment.
Face to face appointments about Access to Work (NI) have been temporarily suspended. The programme works with a number of key stakeholders who support those taking part in Access to Work (NI). Therefore the level of support available may change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
How Access to Work (NI) can help
Access to Work (NI) helps with the practical problems caused by disability. It offers advice and help in a flexible way that can be tailored to suit the needs of an individual in a particular job or getting to and from work.
It can also help towards the additional approved costs that arise. Personal and Business benefit are taken into account in all cases.
Access to Work (NI) can help towards the cost of:
- communication support for deaf people or people who have a hearing impairment and need a communicator in the workplace or at interview
- provision of special aids and equipment to suit particular work needs arising from disability
- adaptations to premises and equipment in the workplace to help an employee with disabilities
- support if practical help is needed because of a disability, either at work or getting to and from work
- support when a person with a disability incurs extra costs in travelling to and from work because of disability
- support to assist employers where other additional costs arise because of disability - for example, extra 'in-work' travel costs, or provision of disability awareness training
Apply to Access to Work (NI)
For more information and to apply for help through this programme, contact the Department for Communities:
- or you can also contact a work coach in your local Jobs and Benefits office
If you use sign language
You can use British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL) to contact Access to Work (NI). To use the video relay service:
- check that you can use the BSL video relay service
- check that you can use the ISL video relay service
- contact Access to Work (NI) using BSL via the video relay service
- contact Access to Work using ISL video relay service
The application must be made by the person with the disability. A work coach can contact your local Access to Work team for you or give you their contact details. An Access to Work adviser will usually visit your place of work and advise on the most cost-effective solution.
Help will be approved for as long as it is needed up to a maximum of three years. After that, if support is still needed it will be considered under the rules of the programme in operation at that time.