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Celebrating Disability History Month 2023

Disability History Month is running from 16 November to 16 December 2023 and is an annual event focusing on the history of disability and the struggle for equality and human rights.

Tue 21st November 2023 The PDA

To celebrate Disability History Month the PDA is taking the time to explore some of the key achievements and milestones of the PDA Ability Network since it was first launched in April 2020 with the aim of proactively addressing and campaigning around disability discrimination and its causes and consequences.


In the PDA Ability Network’s first year, they released the first newsletter. The newsletter provided an opportunity to discuss disability discrimination and how the PDA secured over £200K in compensation for a member with Asperger Syndrome who was wrongly dismissed by their employer. The network continues to release regular newsletters highlighting issues that those with a disability are facing in the workplace and what can be done to overcome these issues. All past issues of the newsletter can be found here.

In the same year, a PDA Ability Network member shared their story of living and working with autism. The member highlighted how working in a high-pressure environment like the NHS is challenging and stressful and the adjustments they have to help avoid what they described as ‘shutdowns’ and ‘meltdowns’.


In the network’s second year, they marked Autism Awareness Week and Men’s Health Week.  During Autism Awareness Week the PDA called on employers to raise awareness, engage and understand autism, and encouraged employees to learn more so that positive changes can be achieved in workplaces. For Men’s Health Week the PDA raised awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages.

Following these weeks, the PDA Ability Network reminded employers that they too must ensure that they consider the needs of disabled pharmacists in all their activities. The network encouraged all employers to educate their managers about disability and the rights of disabled employees and invited pharmacists who wish to support the work of the Ability network to join.


As the PDA Ability Network entered their third year they marked Global Accessibility Awareness Day which aims to get people talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion to better support those with disabilities/impairments. The network also gave several ways the public can support digital access for those with disabilities

The PDA also joined over 100 organisations including charities, trade unions, and others to sign the Disability Employment Charter. The charter is a document that provides the government with a road map for change as it develops the next phases of its National Disability Strategy.


Most recently the PDA Ability Network produced a factsheet supporting those accessing reasonable adjustments. The factsheet looks at what sort of adjustments a pharmacist might need, the support available, and an employee’s rights around reasonable adjustments.

This year the network has also welcomed the introduction of learning disability and autism training for health and social care staff. The network encourages all pharmacists to develop an appropriate understanding of all forms of disability among patients and colleagues. This is to help ensure the appropriate delivery of patient-centered care and to create inclusive workplaces.

The PDA Ability Network’s future

As the PDA Ability Network moves forward they will continue to proactively address and campaign around disability discrimination and its causes and consequences. The network will also continue to raise awareness of different health issues and the reasonable adjustments that pharmacists with a disability are entitled to. The network will continue to host informative member events, offer training through PDA Education and the GFTU, develop resources to support members and provide opportunities for informal networking and for members to get involved. In addition, the network can signpost to other PDA opportunities and support where necessary.

The network encourages pharmacists who are not yet members to join. Membership is free to PDA student and PDA trainee members and the network welcomes ally members. Those interested in joining can do so here.

The PDA has supported more members in the last year to secure reasonable adjustments in their learning journeys, in training, as part of the assessment exams, and in the workplace. The PDA will also continue to support and represent members who face discrimination at work because of their disability.

Get involved

  • Follow the PDA Ability Network on social media using the hashtag #PDAability
  • For more information about the PDA Ability Network, click here.
  • If you would like to get involved with the network and its activities, please email:
  • Join the PDA Ability Network here.

Learn more


Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.






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and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

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