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DFN Project SEARCH – Insights and Market Overview

Q2 2024 Insights and Market Overview


Disability Action Plan 2023-2024: This plan aims to make changes in the lives of disabled people through targeted policies and joint activities across various government departments. Key actions include improvements in education for children with complex needs, enhancements to the Access to Work program, and the development of a new Passenger Assist app for rail users. Additionally, the government claims to be working on updating the National Design Guide to improve accessibility in public spaces. Controversy surrounding the plan is summarised here


UN Criticism: The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) has repeatedly criticized the UK government for failing to make substantial progress on disability rights. The committee highlighted ongoing issues such as inadequate social support systems, negative stereotypes of disabled people, and the detrimental impact of austerity measures on this population. Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) have echoed these concerns, emphasizing the need for more significant and genuine engagement with disabled communities.


Reasonable Adjustments Digital Flag (RADF): RADF will digitally flag the reasonable adjustment needs of individuals with learning disabilities, ensuring their requirements are communicated across healthcare systems.


Learning Disability Week 2024: Scheduled from June 17-23, 2024, the theme “Do you see me?” focuses on visibility and respect for individuals with learning disabilities. The week aims to celebrate their achievements and challenge barriers they face.


Supporting young people with a learning disability or autism into employment – Youth Futures Foundation (one of our funders) has published a report to better understand the need for employment support among young people with LDA, current provision of employment support, what works for this group and how to address gaps between current need and provision. DFN Project SEARCH was interviewed for this research. A summary and link for the report can be found here.



Q1 2024 Insights and Market Overview


Market Overview 2024

Market overview Q1 2024


Data related to DFN Project SEARCH expansion and consolidation – 2024

Numbers of YP with EHCP by local authority and by age

EHCP by school type

People known to LAs with autism or with a learning disability in employment


Additional Information

DFN Project SEARCH Evidence

This review summarises findings from three per-reviewed academic papers, one independent Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation, two external evaluations, and one independent overview of supported employment programmes. They indicate that the model delivers unmatched social, economic and health benefits to interns in the UK and abroad.

Summary of Evidence – DFN Project SEARCH



The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) measures how well NHS England’s care and support services achieve their outcomes. The ASCOF is used both locally and nationally to set priorities for care and support, measure progress and strengthen transparency and accountability. It contains a section on learning disability and autism (pages 20 and 21)

ASCOF 2023


Summary of the 2023 Spring Budget

Important promises related to people with disability and benefits for people who want to work

Spring budget and DWP funding