Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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have they broken Equality Act 2010

murphy10murphy10 Member Posts: 9 Listener
Hi
I applied for C- ESA and was awarded this after 32 years employment. 
It was agreed by DWP alternative format Team in Birkinhead that all communication would be in email format. This is due to my disabilities, learning, physical amd mental health disabilities.
I use dragon software which is voice recognition software which allows me to voice type.
Due to chronic pain each day.
I was sent my award letter, 1 page.
I requested a copy of DWP Doctors home assessment be typed for me as i cannot read his report, it is illegible.
DWP state
ALTERNATIVE FORMAT 

DWP BIRKENHEAD BA Alternative Formats SPOC TEAM <[email protected]>

Fri 17 Aug, 16:01
Reply
to me
 
E-Mail : 15 August 2018 @ 13:00
 
Dear Mr 
 
We refer to your above E-Mail, and note all you say.
 
For completeness we note that the PDF of “Med-Reports” sent to you on  comprised 40 pages of forms / report; completed by hand by Dr.  J Hussain.
 
Enquiries have been made on your behalf and note that Dr. J.  Hussain made a domiciliary visit to your home on 25th June 2018, following your specific request.
 
As is the standard DWP/ CHDA  practice, he completed the report in hand writing as he did not have access to his computer at your home.
 
We note that you have been placed in the support group following that examination.
 
We regret that on this occasion we cannot be of any further assistance.
 
 
Regards
 
  
Department of Work and Pensions
Alternative Formats Team
Birkenhead Service Centre

My Question is this have they broken Equality Act 2010, any advice appreciated and if anyone knows of  a solicitor who would take on the case please let me know, Kind Regards J

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @murphy10

    Just to clarify, you would like a typed copy of your Home Assessment and they say they cannot offer that?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • murphy10murphy10 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi yes DWP ignore my request!
    Thanks in advance
    J
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    I found this Review for the DWP of alternative format communications that is interesting as it shows that they have considered this but in many cases it seems they are not delivering accessible communications for lots of people.

    Also here is their own guidance on accessible communications.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • axwy62axwy62 Member Posts: 140 Pioneering
    I think the question is whether providing you with a typed copy of the report would be a reasonable adjustment as required by the Equality Act, the key word being 'reasonable'. Unfortunately reasonable is not defined in the legislation and is very dependant on context. 

    If the report really does comprise 40 pages, then it would obviously take quite a long time to transcribe and type. I doubt DWP employ anyone who does that type of work so they would probably have to pay an outside agency to do it, similar to the people the Courts use to provide transcripts of hearings. I have no direct knowledge of the cost of such a service but I suspect it would be expensive. On balance, it may well be that providing a transcript of a 40 page report is not reasonable in these circumstances, particularly as you don't appear to need to appeal for example. 

    What do you want the transcript for? Do you need a transcript of all 40 pages or could you ask them to transcribe specific parts of the report, for example the points awarded for each descriptor or the prognosis? That might be a compromise which both you and DWP are able to accept. 

  • atlas46atlas46 Member Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Hi

    Might it be that like you, they cannot read the Dr's hand writing?

    Have you asked some one else, to try and read the report, on your behalf?

    You could contact the Equalities Commision for their advice, that would send a warning shot to DWP.
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