Roll-out of Universal Credit in Sheffield

Sheffield City Council has published the following information about the roll-out of Universal Credit in Sheffield:

“Universal Credit (UC) is a benefit that is being introduced to Sheffield from November 2018.
If you need to make a new claim or if you have a change in circumstances with one of the following benefits you may be directed to claim universal credit.

    • Housing Benefit
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income Support

At some point in the future, many people currently on the benefits above will be moved across to Universal Credit. The Government haven’t yet given us a date for this, but the Department for Work and Pensions will get in touch with anyone affected before there are any changes to their benefits or tax credits.”

For the original story see

If you are a member of SAPAG you may wish to know about their forthcoming meeting on this topic.

Also NB:

Universal Credit Awareness Session for Carers

Please join us on Friday 7th December 2018 10am-12pm
@ The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield, S1 4FW

Jennifer Marsden – (Partnership Manager Sheffield, Department of Work and Pensions) will be delivering an awareness session about Universal Credit Full Service.

The session will cover:

General awareness of what Universal Credit is and when it starts in Sheffield
Support for customers with Complex needs, explicit consent and escalation routes
Time for Q&A session with Jennifer
If you are interested in attending please contact Frazer Kirk by phone or email to register:
Office: 0114 2053676
Mobile: 07717 713694

Digital creativity workshops for people on the autistic spectrum 9th and 16th November

Sheffield Autistic Society received this invitation by email, October 2018:

Digital creativity workshops in Sheffield for people on the autistic spectrum

Access Space is pleased to announce new workshops for Autumn 2018 at our Sidney Street premises in central Sheffield.

You are welcome to pass on this email to anyone who might be interested

FREE workshops, run by experienced staff.
Suited to different levels of ability.
Small, supportive groups (limited attendance numbers).
Talking about designing, leading on to laser cutting/engraving (with support) to make your design in paper, wood or plastic.

Friday 9th November, from 11am-1pm

Friday 16th November, from 11am-1pm

For more details, or to apply for places, please email or phone. The following details will be needed:

  • Who wants to attend? (Name, Contact Address, Email / Telephone)
  • Will carer/parent/guardian/friend be accompanying? (Depending on participants’ abilities)
  • Brief details of participants’ abilities, and any sensory issues.

Participants, carers, parents, guardians and friends are welcome to visit Access Space, by arrangement, before deciding, please get in touch:

Jonathan Cook

Tel 0114 2495522 (Best time is Wed/Thur p.m. or leave a message)
Access Space, Unit 1, AVEC Building, 3-7 Sidney St. Sheffield S1 4RG

UK Registered Charity No. 1103837

Autism Acceptance. Why Autism Awareness is not enough.

The other day an autistic person was explaining to me why members of the autistic community are not happy with the term ‘Autism Awareness’ and preferred to talk about ‘Understanding’ and ‘Acceptance’. Googling these terms I found an American autism blog (see link below) which gives a series of articles explaining why autistic people felt so strongly on this issue. The following extract is one of these and was written by Lydia Brown, an autistic student at Yorketown University:

1. Accept us. Autism is a part of who we are. As sure as skin color or sexual orientation, we cannot change being Autistic. Acceptance starts by understanding that we are not broken, defective, or diseased. We do not need to be fixed or cured. There is nothing wrong with us. Yes, autism is a disability, and yes, some Autistic people are very severely disabled. Accepting our autism does not mean ignoring or denying disability; it means accepting us for who we are, as we are.

2. Respect us. We are people, fellow human beings. We deserve to be treated with the same respect afforded to our non-Autistic peers. Respect starts by understanding that we are full and complete human beings, with individual personalities, life experiences, goals, and preferences. We deserve an education, access to communication, and a place in society as we become adults. We deserve to live without fear of being abused, manipulated, or hurt. We are not less than.

3. Support us. Because we are disabled in varying degrees and in multiple ways, we need support, services, and accommodations to successfully navigate a world not made for us. Supporting us starts by understanding that we are usually the people who can best define what types of support and services we need, especially once we become adults. Some of us may need services throughout school and or higher education. Some of us need help with seeking and keeping employment. Some of us need help with living independently or semi-independently, or with activities of daily life. Without appropriate supports, we will not have equal access and opportunity.

4. Include us. We deserve equal access and opportunity throughout the community and throughout our lifespans. Inclusion starts by understanding that we are part of the community and deserve to be included in it. As children, we may not be ready immediately for full inclusion, but full inclusion should be the ultimate goal for every Autistic child. Full integration into the community means living outside institutional or segregated settings and working outside a segregated setting. If we need accommodations or support to fully participate in the community, then provide those accommodations. We need to belong.

5. Listen to us. Too many conversations about us and issues that affect our lives take place without any of us present. Listening starts by recognizing that we have valid, legitimate, and important things to say about our lives and about the issues that affect us collectively. Like any group of people, we are not homogeneous in opinion or ideology, and this diversity is part of the Autistic community. Yet we must be included in any conversation about us, because decisions made by policymakers, school administrators, and grant reviewers often impact our daily lives and our future outlook. We can speak (or write or sign or type) for ourselves, and it’s time to listen.

Extract from Repost: Why “Autism Awareness” is Not Enough: Steve Silberman (and friends) explain “Autism Acceptance”

Sheffield Retailers take part in Autism Hour Saturday 6th -Saturday 13th October

See the National Autistic Society’s feature on how thousands of retailers throughout the country are making adjustments to make shopping easier for autistic people and their families.

“Autism Hour is where retailers and services take 60 minutes to provide autistic people and their families with a break from the overload of too much information.” The event is sponsored by toy shop chain The Entertainer and supported by a growing number of businesses nationwide.

Zoom in on their interactive map to see which shops and businesses near you are taking part. You can also search for particular types of shops.


Morrisons ‘quiet hour’ for autistic shopping

Supermarket chain Morrisons has introduced a weekly “quieter hour” for autistic shoppers who struggle with music and noise.

Its 439 UK stores will dim lights, turn music off, avoid using the tannoy and turn check-out beeps down on Saturdays from 09:00 to 10:00.

It is believed to be the first supermarket chain to roll out the scheme to all stores nationwide.

See the full story from the BBC here.

Autism-friendly hairdressing service

Sheffield Autistic Society have learned of a service which may be of particular interest to families with autistic children or children with an autistic spectrum condition.  We contacted Twisted Scissors of High Street Rotherham who told us:

“Our quiet Sunday takes place the first Sunday of every month. We provide a longer time frame and plenty of patience for children on the spectrum.
Our aim is to offer a service inviting to all the family, we eliminate noise and smells.  There’s toys to play with and plenty of sweets and refreshments.

This service is about gaining trust and ultimately getting your child to a point where they feel happy to get that haircut.  Sometimes it does take a while before we can gain that trust and although we can’t promise you guys a haircut, you do get our time and interaction which in turn will build that trust up.”

Twisted Scissors Hairdresser and Barber
7 High Street, Rotherham, S60 1PT
Tel: 01709 378510

See also this article from the Rotherham Advertiser

Hoffman Foundation for Autism – Art Competition and Exhibition

Ian Wilson, Art Coordinator, Hoffmann Foundation for Autism has sent us the following:

The Hoffmann Foundation for Autism Prize Competition and Exhibition for 2018/19 will take place at Bruce Castle Museum and Gallery, Lordship Lane, London N17 8NU, from Wednesday 14th November 2018 until Thursday 28th February 2019.

The Hoffmann Foundation for Autism has been providing an art service for adults with asc since 1991 and since 1994 there have been 45 one person and mixed exhibitions in London and elsewhere; we have provided a painting and drawing prize competition since 2009.

First Prize £500.00
Second Prize £350.00
Third Prize £150.00
Provided by the Shirley Foundation

The PJR Creative Building Prize
First Prize £250.00
Second Prize £150.00
Third Prize £100.00
Provided by PJR Creative Building

The Lillie Portrait Prize  £200.00
Anonymous Donor

We have been very lucky in our supporters and in particular the generosity of the Shirley Foundation who have been providing cash prizes ever since we began. Special mention must also be made of PJR Creative Building’s who have contributed an inspired prize this year – Buildings of the Future, intended to stimulate the structural imagination of our artists. The portrait prize is also new this year and probably presents the biggest challenge of all.

All entrants are eligible for the main prize but artists should indicate on their entry form if they also intend their work to be entered for either of the prizes designated as ‘The Buildings of the Future’ or ‘The Portrait Prize’. From September artists should be able to download info & entry forms from our web-site and they can mail me at for Competition Entry Forms, Rules of the Competition, How to get there etc.

The Prize Giving and the Private View will be held in February 2019 at a date to be arranged. It’s also hoped to show films about autism throughout, or at least about autistic themes, autistic central characters, autistic dilemmas and so on which I’m sure some will welcome as light relief. I will also try to find informed speakers, at least for the Private View, and persuade dignitaries to open the proceedings.

Submissions must be in by Wednesday 31st October 2018. Please send or take your work to: The Exhibition Coordinator, 2 Park Avenue, Wood Green, London N22 7EX

Phone 020 8881 8638 or E-mail: for an application form and Info Pack or general enquiries. You can also visit the Day Service between 15.00-16.00 weekdays to pick up forms etc.

Hoffmann Foundation for Autism Limited. Registered in England and Wales No.2169783

Registered Charity Number 298166 Registered Office at 4 Gordon Avenue, Stanmore HA7 3QD

Autism and mindfulness – an offer to talk by autistic speaker Sian Hutchings

Sheffield Autistic Society has received the following invitation from young autistic speaker, Sian Hutchings:

“You may be interested in an opportunity to hear a unique personal perspective on autism and mindfulness – delivered by myself, a speaker, trainer and mentor on this fascinating subject.

I delivered this talk back in June 2018 at The Autism Show in London which was a fantastic success!

I offer this personal perspective in a unique presentation which I believe may be both informative and entertaining for your members , professionals , families , carers and people on the autistic spectrum , which I deliver to organisations, Universities and support groups nationwide.”

Sian has a Facebook Page called Sian Speaks

and has sent us this flyer:

She also sent this short video from Autism information Sharing day 2018: