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Dis-ability Inclusion Network

The Dis-ability Inclusion Network is working to achieve equality, fairness, and support for all staff.


Join the Dis-Ability Inclusion Network

We offer support and share knowledge to empower everyone to be inclusive, recognising ability and proactively supporting colleagues to meet their full potential in their chosen careers. We focus on the possibilities and opportunities rather than the disabilities.

The Dis-ability Inclusion network is involved in the review and improvement of policies that directly affect employees. We look at it from a personal and organisational point of view, working together with colleagues, managers, the equality, diversity and inclusion team, heads of service and directors to shape a positive future for employees.

The Dis-ability Inclusion Network acts as a voice for disabled employees, we have monthly meetings which are open to everyone to attend, these meetings are a great opportunity to voice concerns, meet and talk to senior managers, heads of service and directors, who are shaping the policies we work to.


The Dis-ability Inclusion network aims to:

  • provide a safe, respectful, confidential, and supportive environment for employees from across the organisation to discuss issues, while promoting a working environment where all feel safe and confident to be themselves and perform to the best of their ability within the organisation.
  • increase the visibility of employees who identify as having a disability as defined under the Equality Act 2010, promoting equality across the organisation by supporting personal and career development
  • inform and influence our approach to disability and neurodiversity inclusion issues and contribute experience, expertise, and ideas to Improve the quality of services we offer our customers, especially those who are defined as having a disability under the Equality Act 2010
  • act as a consultation body on issues relating to the specific needs of disabled and neurodiverse employees
  • provide opportunities for networking and organise awareness raising activities for employees relevant to the group, celebrating difference and diversity and challenging intolerance to the wider community
  • liaise with internal departments and external organisations on relevant issues.
  • be actively involved and engaged in the development and implementation of our equality, diversity, and inclusion strategy
  • collaborate with other employee support networks to share information and good practice


Membership is open to all our employees supporting the aims of the network. We also welcome contact, attendance and comments from school staff, external organisations, partners and external networks, including those from members of the wider community of Derbyshire.

The network has a wide variety of abilities including those with physical disabilities, hidden disabilities, neurodiversity, and long-term conditions. And of course, many of us suffer wider issues including cancer, kidney, liver and heart failure, and menopause, each of which can cause disabling symptoms in the short and long term.

Our Team’s channel has a wealth of resources and there is always somebody to talk to, whether you just need 5 minutes to talk it out, or if you want to ask for wider support, even raising anonymous questions on behalf of our colleagues.

Confidentiality of membership will be respected.

Ways of working

The group is independent and self-managed.

The network will appoint network leads to ensure that it runs fairly and smoothly - particular roles include facilitator roles, for example chair and secretary.

Support roles within the group (like chairing meetings, taking notes, organising events) are fulfilled by those willing to volunteer their assistance, with due recognition recorded in personal development review (My Plan).

The network will have facilitator and co-facilitator who organise, arrange, and agree the hosting of meetings supported by the rest of the group. The facilitator post will run for a 12-month time period being agreed by consensus each April.


Three hours per quarter of paid time off is provided for employees to attend meetings, and additional time subject to the needs of the service. Time for meetings is recorded as ‘working time’ in SAP.

Additional times include:

  • specific meetings or forums where network leads and / or members attend to represent views of the network
  • planning time for network facilitators to organise meeting or to respond to the needs of the service
  • training and workshops essential to support network leads members development

Meetings can be held virtually, in person at suitable locations, or based on a hybrid approach, depending on the consensus of the network and in line with our health and safety guidance.

The network will nominate a representative to attend the equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) workforce workstream group and relevant sub-groups in order to support the priorities within the EDI strategy.


Meetings are open to all interested employees. Meetings are recorded and made available on our Teams channels for those who are unable to attend to playback at a convenient time.

Our main Dis-ability Inclusion Network currently meet every fourth Wednesday of each month at midday through Teams.

This session is open to all our members, and extended parties such as our leadership team, heads of service and external guests. You'll get an invitation when you register as a member of the network.

We operate a “raise hand” Policy during this session to allow as many as possible to get involved and to support our hearing impaired / deaf colleagues.

We encourage attendees to bring their lunch, join us with camera on or off, and participate where possible.

We actively endeavour to invite guest speakers to this meeting on a wide range of topics, and to hold an “open floor” session, so colleagues can seek support or share knowledge and best practice.

Contact the Dis-ability Inclusion Network

For further information and future meeting dates, or if there is something you would like to organise, or a topic you think our network should be engaging in, please contact us by email: