Disability History Month

Disability History Month logo

Disability History Month takes place from 18 November to 20 December and celebrates the lives and achievements of people living with a disability.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines both at home and in the workplace and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental wellbeing of people with disabilities. 

Many organisations will no longer be hosting face-to-face events, but instead will be finding innovative ways to mark Disability History Month with virtual meet-ups and online events.

Get involved

NHS Employers and NHS England/NHS Improvement are supporting this campaign and encourage NHS organisations to get involved and participate locally. It’s a great opportunity to run a local campaign and:

  • celebrate the achievements of staff with disabilities
  • raise awareness of what a disability is – not all disabilities are visible or immediately apparent
  • encourage leaders and managers to support staff through respect, empowerment and equality
  • encourage staff to record their disability on the NHS Electronic Staff Record and have open conversations with their managers
  • check-in with staff that sufficient adjustments have been made to support those with disabilities to carry out their roles - whether that’s onsite or from home. 

During November and December you can join the conversation on Twitter by using #DisabilityHistoryMonth. Follow @NHSE_Diversity @WDESnews and participate in the celebrations, share stories and resources.

Download our Disability History Month graphics and use them in your local campaign

Graphics with disability icons
Logo with disability icons (also suitable for Twitter)
Email footer with disability icons
Microsoft Teams background with icons v1
Microsoft Teams background with icons v2
Microsoft Teams background with icons v3

Graphics without disability icons
Logo without disability icons (also suitable for Twitter)
Email footer without disability icons 
Microsoft Teams background without icons v1
Microsoft Teams background without icons v2
Microsoft Teams background without icons v3

Key facts, figures, and information about the NHS workforce

  • Overall, 3.6 per cent of non-clinical and 2.9 per cent of clinical workforce (excluding medical and dental staff) have declared a disability through the NHS Electronic Staff Record.
  • For medical and dental staff, 1.94 per cent of trainee grades, 1.2 per cent of non-consultants career grade and 0.8 per cent of consultants had declared a disability.
  • The 2019 NHS staff survey revealed 73.7 per cent of staff with a disability or long term condition said their employer had made adequate adjustments to enable them to carry out their work.
  • 78.4 per cent of disabled staff working in the NHS said their organisation provides equal opportunities, compared to 85.3 per cent of non-disabled staff.

What's happening during Disability History Month inside and outside of the NHS?

  • On 3 December 2020 it’s International Day of People with Disabilities. Keep an eye on this page and our social media channels as we will be participating in events and publishing new resources.
  • Celebrate the contribution of disabled employees around the world by joining the #PurpleLightUp 24-hour Global Broadcast 2/3 December 2020. Our Head of Diversity and Inclusion Paul Deemer and colleagues from the WDES team at NHS England and NHS Improvement are participating in a session.
  • Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (Ridi) are hosting their annual awards virtually on 3 December to celebrate the work being undertaken to break down barriers and get more disabled people into work. The ceremony will be streamed at 4:30pm.
  • Healthwatch Darlington have organised an event on the 3 December 2020 to discuss how to work towards an accessible future, making accessibility everyone’s responsibility.
  • Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is planning a series of virtual events addressing topics ranging from ‘How managers can support staff with disabilities’, ‘The Workforce Disability Equality Standard improving diversity of the workforce (especially in senior positions)’, ‘The benefits of network groups and increasing staff declaration rates of disability’. 

Further information

Organisations that provide support

  • ACAS provides helpful information on providing reasonable adjustments in the workplace.
  • Access to Work offer employers assistance by reimbursing the cost of equipment, adaptations, travel to and from work and support worker services.
  • Disability Confident the scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents that disabled people can bring to your workplace and shares examples of where reasonable adjustments have supported disabled staff in work.
  • Remploy provide a wealth of guidance around supporting disability in the workplace.
  • Disability Rights UK provide lots of practical guidance for people with disabilities and also employers.

Should you have any queries around supporting staff with disabilities in the workplace please contact diversityandinclusion@nhsemployers.org.

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