When Jessica was commissioned to deliver a keynote speech at an international conference, she applied to Access to Work to cover her support costs. She waited three-and-a-half weeks just to speak to an advisor, and another month-and-a-half for her request to be rejected. Jessica says, “It felt like the advisor was suggesting that a non-disabled person do this work instead. I got incredibly distressed, not just because this work opportunity was at risk, or because I felt worn down by the constant requests for yet more information. I was crying because this scheme is crucial to my being able to work, have a career and stay independent, and because I had to beg, yet again, for the support I need to give me equal access to work. I look back at the earlier stages of my career and I would never have got to where I am now without the responsive support I’ve had from Access to Work. The advisor repeatedly told me that it is a discretionary grant. It’s not hard to hear this as a threat when my ability to work, pay my bills, and play my part in society is dependent on it.”

Source: http://figr.es/s272