Access to Work supports workers with disability in the UK
The United Kingdom’s Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support program that aims to help more people with disability start or stay in work.
It provides practical and financial support for people with disability or long-term physical or mental health conditions.
Access to Work also gives practical advice and guidance to employers, to help them understand physical and mental ill health and how they can support employees.
Working in government means one’s day-to-day professional life requires many meetings, and this can be challenging for someone who is Deaf or hard-of-hearing, because meetings aren’t always accessible to them.
Fortunately, professionals in the UK can apply for grants through the government-funded Access to Work program, which is based on need. The program offers grants to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace and that includes the live captioning of meetings.
“For me, the experience of live captioning was revolutionary. I’ve been deaf for over 15 years, and during that time I’ve never been able to effectively and completely participate in meetings,” one government employee said.
“There are live transcription apps available, and I do use them sometimes. However, they are not particularly accurate or reliable, because there is no human component. When the content matters, I need a reliable captioning vendor,” the employee said.
This government employee applied for and received Access to Work grant money to cover the cost of live captioning for his work meetings.
“With Ai-Media I not only keep up with my peers, but I also download the meeting transcript afterward to confirm what I need to do next and follow up. Ai-Media’s live captioning means that others perceive I am attentive and proactive in the meeting, which was incredibly difficult before Ai-Media’s live captioning,” the employee said.
“Historically, I felt like I was on the backfoot in terms of communication. However, with Ai-Media’s live transcript, I have a far more equitable access to information,” he continued.
Enabling access at work
For workplaces, captions are critical to provide equal access for all employees, including those who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing.
At Ai-Media, we can provide access and inclusion anytime, anywhere. We use real people, not computers, to convert speech into text to ensure the text matches what’s being said. This all takes place using the internet to stream the words live to laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Live captioning can be used for meetings, training sessions and teleconference calls.
To find out more about Ai-Media’s live captioning and access to work services, visit the Ai-Media website.