We spoke to Dave who had retired from a public service role and decided to set up his own business this year. He’d sought out a formal autism diagnosis because he’d encountered some difficulties – for him it was a tick box exercise. Dave decided that by being his own boss would allow the flexibility he needed to manage his own adjustments and be more in control, without having to rely on an employer for what were sometimes complex needs.
Dave realised he needed support, especially as this would be a new business area and style of working. He contacted us when he started looking into options for grants or benefits which he could claim as a disabled adult. Employment Autism were able to advise him that he would be eligible for Access to Work, “one of the government’s best kept secrets”, which he hadn’t known about before.
Dave submitted a request for 40 hours (full-time) support along with all the requested documentation, including his business plan.
Dave found that Access to Work were familiar with providing funding to autistic people, but that getting the right amount of support was less easy. When he heard back about his application, he found he’d been offered only 12 hours, on a ‘job aid basis’. This type of support is more suitable for those, for example, who need physical help due to reduced mobility. But this was not what Dave needed, which was ‘enabling support’, to help him overcome some of the non-physical barriers that he would come across and support him to achieve his aims and objectives.