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Disabled Staff Network Group

Disabled Staff Network Group

Disabled Staff Network Group

In line with the UK Government’s latest advice about coronavirus and in common with many other Universities, the Disability Advisory and Support Service and University of Manchester Assessment Centre teams are currently working from home.

We are continuing to carry out appointments via video/phone, will be picking up and responding to voicemail messages and will continue to answer emails. However, we won’t be in the office to receive post. Please do scan/take a photo of any paperwork instead and email to

If you need to book an appointment – please call 0161 275 7512 and leave a voicemail request.  We’ll call you back as soon as we can to make arrangements.  If you are unable to use the phone for disability-related reasons, please just let us know.

The University’s latest advice and support is available at:

Providing a voice within the University for disability equality

The Disabled Staff Network meets 'officially' about 3 times a year and have a number of other informal get-togethers. 

This Network is open to all members of staff at The University of Manchester who consider themselves to have an impairment, cognitive difference, or long term health/medical condition, and to members of staff who have a specific interest in this area of work.


Kirsty Hutchison and Jessie Boland are the Co-Chairs of the DSN. They can be contacted on or directly.


The DSN meetings are held on Microsoft Teams.  The link is provided to ensure that members names remain anonymous and will take you straight to the join page of the meeting.

The next Disabled Staff Network meeting will be announced shortly

Get Involved

  • We're looking for some new people to help with the running of the network:
    DSN Secretary – someone (maybe different people on a rotating basis) to take the minutes at the DSN meetings. This is such an essential role as we need to document all your opinions, views and concerns so that we can voice these to senior management at the University.
    Social secretary – as well as having our formal meetings, it would be fantastic if we could all get together and meet on an informal basis – maybe go for a coffee or even a meal after work? Or maybe some of you have more creative ideas…
  • New members are always welcome!  Please email: or drop into one of our events
  • Join our confidential mailing list by emailing 
  • Follow us on Twitter: @UoMDSN

The Network needs a social secretary. Could you take the lead on organising DSN social events? From casual 'coffee and a chat' drop-ins to our Christmas gathering the opportunities and options are many .... Please email if you can help.


  • 7 July 2022 - SAVE THE DATE 4pm - DSN relaunch and social event
  • JUNE 2022 - DSN Elections will be delayed until 2023 to take acocunt of the impact that the pandemic has had on the group
  • 3rd December 2021 - International Day of Persons with Disabilities - Remember to encourage your teams to wear purple for this event, take some photographs and email them to us at  The Academy 1 building on Oxford Road will also be lit up purple to mark this day. 
  • 24 November 2021 - the University’s Disabled Staff Network (DSN) in partnership with Manchester Histories and the family of the late Lord Alf Morris of Manchester is a finalist in the Manchester Culture Awards - in the Equality and Social Justice category. This is for Manchester Histories DigiFest 2020: Celebrating Alf’s Act – 50 Years of Disabled People’s Rights.  As many of you are already aware, the DSN led on, organised and hosted Manchester Histories DigiFest 2020: Celebrating Alf’s Act – 50 Years of Disabled People’s Rights in partnership with Manchester Histories and the family of the late Lord Alf Morris of Manchester. This involved (in partnership with Manchester Histories) creating a steering group including Venture Arts, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and Manchester City Council. Hosted online (4-5 September 2020), DigiFest celebrated 50 years of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person’s Act (CSDPA) 1970. Through the themes ‘celebrate, challenge, learn’, with the impact of Covid-19 and intersectionality (race, sexuality etc.) running throughout, DigiFest historically explored disability rights and highlighted ongoing struggles disabled people face via a montage of disabled people’s lives, contributions and political struggles.  It is very timely that we are finalists for this award now as it is currently Disability History Month (18 November – 18 December 2021), especially as a key aim of DigiFest was to celebrate the CSDPA, landmark legislation that was affectionately known as ‘Alf’s Act’. It was also the first of its kind in Great Britain and the world, enabling disabled people to lead independent lives. CSDPA led to the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act and 2010 Equality Act.  DigiFest also celebrated the late Lord Alf Morris, who was the MP for Wythenshawe from 1964 to 1997, pioneer of CSDPA and first Minister for Disabled People (in the UK and the world). The University of Manchester conferred an honorary doctorate degree on Alf in 1998.
  • December 2020: Our annual festive social event is on Monday 14 December 4.30pm and will be on teams.  Message for the invite
  • Cherylee Houston in conversation at FBMH, Wednesday 14 October, 2pm – 3:30pm  We wanted to make you aware of this event with Coronation Street actress Cherylee Houston, hosted by the Doubleday Centre in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health. This is happening on Wednesday 14 October, 2pm – 3:30pm. It's free and online. For more details and to book your place, please register via Eventbrite:
  • We have been given the opportunity to meet with Andy Burnham (The Mayor of Greater Manchester) to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the disabled community.  This meeting happened on 18th June 2020. An update will be circulated to all members on the mailing list.
  • We were proud to be part of the NADSN & LGBT+ NoN 1st Joint National Intersectionality Conference which took place on June 20 2019.  This conference was highly commended at the Recent Making a Difference Awards (May 2020)  
  • Congratulations to Anthony Williams who was recently nominated for The University of Manchester’s Volunteer of the Year award and was awarded joint third place in the staff category among a strong field of exceptional and extraordinary volunteers!  Anthony runs a support group for people going through surgery for epilepsy by connecting people who have both had the surgery or are facing it themselves.  The group has grown to support people all over the world and many of the epilepsy specialist hospitals recommend patients who are considering this type of surgery to his group for support.
  • The National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) has launched a quiz to help employees with impairments recognize discrimination at work and access relevant help and information. Find out more!
  • Hamied Haroon has a full page feature in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health's most recent social responsibility brochure on page 10 where he talks about his disability activism.