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About the Staff Disability Network

Mission Statement

To create and grow an informed and proactive network for disabled staff and allies. We will work with SHU leadership and management to ensure parity of opportunity and progression, improve policies and foster a fair and equitable workplace for all. We will work alongside, educate and learn from internal and external Equality Diversity and Inclusion networks. 

It is important to be aware that we are a small group of disabled staff who run the network alongside our day jobs. We aim to produce newsletters to keep staff up to date with activity at Hallam and in Sheffield and to arrange social and awareness raising events. Personal commitments and job changes have greatly reduced the size of the current committee but we continue to do what we can for disabled staff. We greatly welcome interest in joining the committee.

To express your interest please email You will be invited to have a chat with an existing committee member so you can find out more before you decide whether it’s for you.


Terms of Reference

To create a network which is visible and active, and that celebrates the role of disabled staff at SHU.

  1. To be the voice of disabled staff at SHU by method of a bi-monthly committee meeting, open to all network members.
  2. To consult with the EEDI team, to feed into the Disability Steering Group which membership includes HROD and other policy writers on disability and accessibility issues.
  3. To support disabled colleagues with any disability related challenges they face in their employment at SHU and to signpost to unions/external support agencies where appropriate.
  4. To produce regular information for members and supporters using a range of communication methods.
  5. To champion good, inclusive, practice amongst managers and support the production of resources to achieve this.
  6. To champion and advise on inclusive design and planning.


Mode of Operation

The group will:

  1. Provide an open, safe and confidential environment to discuss challenges faced.
  2. Organise an accessible programme of events that adds value to the experience of disabled members of staff at SHU.
  3. Consult with the network to inform future actions and ongoing events.
  4. Hold steering group meetings once every two months to take forward the action plan – frequency of network wide meetings/events to be determined.
  5. Keep the network up to date with relevant disability related employment news.
  6. Provide a named representative to attend the Disability Steering Group to advise on processes & systems for supporting disabled employees.


Roles & Responsibilities of members

  1. To contribute to projects, initiatives or activities agreed by the group, when possible.
  2. To respect the privacy of fellow members.
  3. To listen and give everybody the chance to contribute if they wish to.
  4. To report back on initiatives which affect disabled employees e.g. changes to University policy and external legalisation.
  5. To report and share barriers faced by disabled staff at SHU to the Committee and Co-Chairs.
  6. Co-Chairs to be the voice of the SHU Staff Disability Network at the SHU Disability Steering Group chaired by Helen Scott, PVT T&L, Champion for Staff Disabilities.


Social Model of Disability and what it means for us

When we first came together as the steering group for the Staff Disability Network we agreed quickly that our ethos is strongly aligned with the social model of disability. We also agreed to use the social model to guide us in how we believe SHU should be changing to ensure equal opportunity and treatment of disabled members of staff.

Social Model of Disability and what it means for us