Disability History Month 2021

Written by Sheffield City Council

Running from 18 November to 18 December, this year’s Disability History Month aims to recognise and reflect on disabled people’s struggle for human rights over the years. You can find out more about the day on UK Disability History Month

This year’s themes are Hidden Impairments (such as autism, fibromyalgia, long covid, depression, diabetes or HIV) and Relationships and Sex, two issues which we may often not discuss. 

We know that, while many gains have been made in terms of equality and improved quality of life for disabled people, there is still a lot of progress to be made.

We want everyone to be able to bring their full selves to work. To be able to talk about their family lives, the conditions that affect how they think, feel and experience the world. We want them to talk about the disabilities and health conditions experienced by them and their loved ones. And we want to provide a supportive environment where people can talk about their disabilities and impairments, especially the hidden ones, without fear of stigma.

We know that many employees will experience mental health problems during their careers. COVID means more of us will have experienced mental ill health and exacerbated problems we already face. Now we can step back and think about how we can create a Council which supports people to achieve their full potential.

Mental Health First Aid England has produced excellent resources to help us create an environment where we can bring our full selves to work (as well as resources to support healthy minds while working at home).Mental Health First England: My whole self

Out and about enjoying our city

We aim for Sheffield to be a truly inclusive city and we know that disabled people want to explore the delights of the steel city as much as anyone. To do this easily and worry free, access information is crucial and we have an ongoing contract with AccessAble to provide this. Use their website to look for accessibility guides and routes in Sheffield.

One of the best ways we can improve our health and wellbeing is to get outside and this should not be harder for those of us with physical disabilities. We encourage all our employees where possible to use active travel to get to work, and if you are interested in cycling but feel it’s not for you, check out Sheffield Cycling 4 All.

Accessible public transport is essential to allow disabled people to travel around easily. We know our public transport system needs improving and we have a forum which meets regularly to advise on how to improve access to transport services for disabled people and move towards equal access. Transport 4 All is a city-wide pan-disability group of disabled transport users that meets quarterly with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and public transport operators in the city.

Sheffield’s Disability History

For those of you interested in the history side of Disability History, Sheffield has a proud history of achievement, innovation and creativity by disabled people. You can find out more in this video we made for UK Disability History Month 2019.

Internal information and resources

To the right you will find useful links including reasonable adjustments, flexible working, support and advice regarding your health and wellbeing through to your professional and career support with coaching, mentoring and buddy support and guidance documents for managers.

How to learn more about disability

We have launched four new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training products on disability and strongly encourage everyone to complete them. 

External support

Disability Sheffield have a Covid Support Page, they also have a mailing list at the bottom of the page that you can sign up to, to receive general information. You can also follow them on their facebook and twitter. 

Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service (SOHAS)

The main aim of SOHAS is to keep people in work. They work with GP’s, clinicians and employers to ensure that people are given practical and common sense advice and support to keep them in work. To access the service you can ring 0114 27557560, go to their website and use the “ask the expert tab” or email sohas@sohas.co.uk. The service we provide is free and confidential and is accessible for anyone who lives and works in Sheffield. 


AccessAble is a website and app that gives users detailed and factual access information for a variety of venues up and down the country, from restaurants to hospitals and theatres to shopping centres. Here at the Council we have a contract with AccessAble which means they survey venues for us and add the details to their site ensuring that this will make trips out in Sheffield more accessible for all.