Covid19 – News on restrictions, permissions, support & other information

Please forgive the less than ideal organisation of the many items in the page below. Information is coming in to us regularly and items are being added all the time. The information includes:

What you can and what you can’t do (from the Government – Updated 29th May):

Easy read government guide to the new rules (from 11th May)
Spreading the news – May 2020
For more easy read and explanatory material on coronavirus, government advice etc see lower down this page

The full text of the government’s Recovery Strategy, published 11th May, can be downloaded here:

For links to all government guidance and support in connection with Covid-19 see this page:

Hospital Visiting (from the NHS):
An immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit if you are supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

See full statement here: Visitor-Guidance_8-April-2020
(NB Sheffield health authorities say, please check with the specific ward  before you visit.)

Preparing a Covid19 Hospital Communication Passport and Supporting Resources
for children and adults with special needs:

NHS COVID-19 ‘Grab and Go’ Hospital Passport
A quick form for people with a learning disability and / or autism to complete if they need to go to hospital. Ideally it should accompany the complete hospital passport (see item above): C0381_NHS Covid-19 Grab and Go LDA Form

‘Coping with COVID’ for people struggling with their mental health during Coronavirus
Sheffield Health and Social Care have a phone line and are providing an online course ‘Coping with COVID’ for people struggling with their mental health during Coronavirus. These services are available to anyone, you do not have to have accessed mental health services in the past:

Sheffield City Council Changes to Services / Support for People

National Autistic Society Guidance and Top Tips
The NAS’s latest guidance on coronavirus and some handy top tips for dealing with its impact:

The Government’s Plan to Support the Social Care System (16 April 2020):
A commentary by the National Autistic Society

Sheffield Carers Centre – Update on Services for Carers
see PDF : Update from the Carers Centre

Sheffield Carers Outreach Project Virtual Carers Groups
Sheffield Carers Outreach Project are offering a number of Virtual Carers Groups,  starting this week (28th April).
These groups are for both adults with LDs and/ or autism and their carer/ parent.
See the posters on this page
and to find  out more please e-mail the Carers Outreach Team at:

Covid-19: Supporting autistic people and people with learning disabilities
Guides from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) for families and professionals supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Disability Sheffield
Support from Disability Sheffield during Covid-19 Crisis

Coronavirus – Easy Read Guides from the UK Government
Spreading the news – Update May 2020

Easy read posters and other easy read resources on the government’s latest rules and guidance on coronavirus
From On face masks, government’s rules May to June, shielding, testing and other issues, including editable posters:

Coronavirus A Book for Children
by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler
You can download the free book here:

Ideas, activities, resources during the lockdown
mainly – but not only – for people with a learning disability and their families, from the internet: see this page

See also Sheffield Carers Outreach Project Virtual Carers Groups above

RNIB Bookshare
Interesting for organisations and parents  of learners with a print disability. Accessible textbooks and resources for learners with sight loss, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and qualifying physical disabilities. “RNIB Bookshare UK education collection provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum. We offer a range of accessible formats that can be read electronically or adapted to suit the personal reading needs of learners. We now have 545,905 titles with more being added all the time!” See 

Be alert to Coronavirus Scams and Fraud
(Courtesy of Triodos Bank):—retail


Connecting people in Sheffield with Learning Disabilities and Autism

Sheffield Autistic Society received the following message from Kathryn Littlewood of Disability Sheffield:

“Sheffield Voices is hosting a coffee morning twice a week at 11am on Tuesday and Thursday for anyone with a learning disability and Autism. We are reaching out to people who might be isolated and are having problems.

We are also filming people on Fridays about their experiences. people will need access to ZOOM to join in with both the coffee mornings and filming.

We are working with Inclusion North and LDE to bring up to date easy accessible information into these meetings for people as we have been concerned that people are not understanding what is happening with staying indoors and staying safe.

Please can you share info around your colleagues. if the meetings get too big then we will put more events on

If anyone is interested in joining in on what we are doing please can you contact us on either 01142536750 or email me at for the details”


Kathryn Littlewood

Development Worker

Ideas, activities, resources during the lockdown

Susan Kirkman has sent us the following ideas, mainly – but not only – for people with a learning disability and their families, from the internet:

Through the Maze are sharing ideas for activities to do at home on their website here.

A lot of self advocacy and community groups are sharing ideas and what they are doing through regular on line meetings. You can watch a recording of those meetings here.

Books beyond words have a book called Good Days and Bad days during Coronavirus. It can help you think about what makes a good day and how you plan for that.

Listening Books are offering a huge collection of audio books for children and adults including bestsellers and books for education and well-being.

Technology start-up AutonoMe is offering a free version of their app to any person with a learning disability in the UK.

Future Directions are hosting a live interactive music session on their Facebook page every Friday at 13:30.

Guide for frontline NHS staff re support of LD and autistic patients in hospital with coronavirus

Sue Kirkman has kindly sent us the following link which, although this is for NHS staff primarily, it may be useful if any of our relatives need to go into hospital:

Following NHS producing a clinical guide for frontline staff to support the management of patients with a learning disability and autism during the corona virus epidemic  they have now produced an easy read version

Invitation to the Launch of the South Yorkshire Autism Alert Card, on Monday 2nd March

Forwarded to Sheffield Autistic Society from South Yorkshire Police:

You are cordially invited to the launch of the South Yorkshire Autism Alert Card (LD card being developed) at the Doncaster School For The Deaf, Leger Way, Doncaster DN2 6AY on Monday the 2nd of March 2020. Starting at 1.30pm for refreshments etc., with the launch at 2pm and to be closed by South Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner at 3pm. Professionals and service users all welcome, please use the email address below to RSVP.

Please RSVP to –


Ambitious About Autism’s new tool kit for parents of autistic pre-school children

The children and young people’s charity Ambitious About Autism have published a Right from the Start Toolkit   ‘A Guide to Autism in the Early Years’.

The charity says, “This practical toolkit contains a wealth of straightforward information in one place to guide parents and carers through their child’s journey in the early years.

From the autism assessment process to the first day of school, this toolkit is packed with practical tips and checklists to support parents during the earliest years of their child’s life. It also provides signposts to sources of support or additional information.”

For more information and how to download the toolkit see: Right from the start toolkit.

For the charity’s advice on getting a diagnosis see this page from their website.

Carers Outreach Project (COPe) Groups and Workshops

Please see the flyers (links are below) for details about COPe. COPe works with family carers who care for someone with a Learning Disability and/or autism.

Carers Outreach Sessions
The Carers Outreach Sessions support unpaid carers and the adult they care for with a mild-moderate learning disability and/or autism.
There are now sessions up and running in various parts of Sheffield.

Sharing Caring Project Workshops
Keep in Touch and Carers Outreach Project are running a number of workshops across Sheffield for carers of adults with learning disabilities and/ or autism.

For more information, or if you are interested in attending any of the groups or workshops, please contact the team at Mencap. (For details see the flyers below).

COPe Groups

SCP Workshops


Research into autism and loneliness – participants needed

Sheffield Autistic Society has received the following request for people to take part in research into loneliness in autistic adults:

My name is Kana Umagami, a PhD student at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at UCL Institute of Education. I am autistic myself, and my research is investigating loneliness in autistic adults. Currently, I am recruiting participants to take part in an online survey on this topic.

Full details about the survey (which takes approximately 20 minutes to complete) are available here.

I am wondering if you could forward this email (or circulate information about my research) to autistic adults in your network so that they can take part in my research?

Who is eligible for this research?

  • Aged over 18 (with no upper age limitation)
  • Living in the UK
  • Able to express their own thoughts (regardless of the ways they communicate)
  • Diagnosed or self-identified as autistic

I hope my research will provide a better understanding of loneliness in autistic adults and look forward to your network’s participation in my study!

South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System – Questionnaire

The Integrated Care System (ICS), which is a group of NHS organisations that covers Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley, Bassetlaw & Sheffield, are looking to engage with people with lived experience of Autism, either personally or through family/carers.

We have been asked by Emma Ross, Communications and Engagement Officer for Autism, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, to bring our readers’ attention to a questionnaire which they would like as many people to complete as possible, though of course not everyone will want to complete the survey.

The survey is to help the organisation find out about the experience people with autism have with care services.

You can download the questionnaire here: Autism Survey SY ICS
If you wish to take part, please complete and return to Emma at the email address below:

Tel: 0114 305 1713