Access to services

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In the age of the digital Britain many services and resources are available online. However, according to Disability Rights UK, the latest National Audit Office (NAO) survey of online services found that there are still significant numbers of people who cannot go online or access online services or choose not to. It also found that only 63% of people who declared a disability have access online, compared with 85% of those without a disability.

If you know someone who can’t or doesn’t want to access resources over the internet, here is a list of places they can get help and advice, compiled by Chartwell, the specialist insurance broker for those with disabilities.

  • Disability Charity Scope has a Scope Response team, who offer confidential advice and information over the phone, between 9am and 5pm on weekdays, on 0808 800 3333.
  • For a local advice service, then the DIALs Network, an independent network of local disability information and advice services run by and for disabled people, can help. With 120 local DIALs services in Great Britain, your nearest service can be found by phone on (01302) 310 123 or textphone (01302) 310 123.Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 10.27.02
  • For face-to-face help and advice, the Citizens Advice Bureau can help by providing free, independent and confidential advice on legal, money and other problems.
  • For specialist legal advice for disabled people, the Disability Law Service can be contacted on 020 7791 9800.
  • There are specific advice lines for charities such as Age UK (0800 169 6565) and Carers UK (0808 808 7777) that can offer advice tailored to particular needs or disabilities.
  • Disability Rights UK has a Disabled Students Helpline for advice on subjects such as the Equality Act, welfare benefits and access to Higher Education. Available on 0800 328 5050 (Tues 11.30 – 13.30 & Thurs 13.30 – 15.30), the line also provides advice on post-16 education and training enquiries from disabled students or professionals working with disabled students. The charity also has an Independent Living Advice Line on  0300 555 1525 which provides advice including how to get direct payments, individual budgets/personalisation and general advice on employing personal assistants.
  • The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) is a government funded helpline that has replaced the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Helpline, aimed at individuals who need more expert advice and support on discrimination law and human rights issues than advice agencies and other local organisations can provide. Bespoke advice can be received by calling 0800 444 205, or textphone, 0800 444 206.
  • If you are being treated less favourably because of your disability in work (or in seeking work), Unity Law may be able to help. Telephone: 0114 361 0000.
  • For written advice, Disability Rights UK has a Disability Rights Handbook and various other publications which can be purchased over the phone on 020 7250 3222 or by fax on 020 7247 8765. It also has a range of factsheets available which give information on benefits, tax credits, independent living etc.
  • The Equalities National Council (ENC) is a national disability information and advice service run by and for, disabled people in the UK. The service is available on 020 7474 9812.Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 10.30.23
  • Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) provides an information service on 0808 808 0123 (Textphone 0808 808 9000) for deaf and hard of hearing people, families and carers. Including information on benefits and services for deaf people.
  • For benefits advice you can contact the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882200.
  • For families caring for children with disabilities advice can be found from Contact A Family (0808 808 3555) and Disabled Parents Network (0300 3300 639).
  • The Disabled Living Foundation has a national information service and helpline (0845 130 9177) for equipment and adaptations for people with disabilities.
  • Skill, the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, has a helpline on 0800 328 5050, offering information and advice on disability issues in post-16 education. The helpline covers issues such as, applying to further and higher education, financial assistance while studying, examination arrangements, disclosing disability, looking for work, benefits and community services for students with disabilities.
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