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History

1952: birth

Three parents and a social worker Jean Garwood meet to form our charity. Ian Dawson-Shepherd, Eric Hodgson and Alex Moira want their disabled children to have equal access to education.

To find out more about life for disabled people born at this time, watch our Speaking for Ourselves video or listen to Disability Voices on the British Library website.

Listen to our Scope history podcast.

1957: employment support

Our first employment officer, Bill Hargreaves, supports hundreds of disabled people to find their first jobs. We’re still supporting disabled people today to get into and stay in work. Find out about our employment services.

Read Bill Hargreaves life story (Amazon ebook).

1962: 62 Clubs

Bill Hargreaves created 62 Clubs. These were groups run by disabled people to organize their own leisure activities and holidays.

1970: our first charity shop

We open our first charity shop in Sevenoaks, Kent. There are now 190 shops nationwide which raise money for our work. They provide volunteering opportunities for over 4,000 people.

1983: attitudes posters

We create a nationwide poster campaign based on attitudes towards disabled people.

1984: Disability Now

Disability Now became a platform where disabled people had their voices heard. The back issues and podcasts of this influential publication are archived in the Wellcome Collection.

1990: helpline

We launch our telephone helpline for disabled people and their families. The helpline is still going today and supports nearly 30,000 people a year.

1994: name change

We changed our name to Scope. Read our Amazon ebook on name change.

2004: Time to Get Equal

Nelson Mandela launched our Time to Get Equal campaign. This highlighted the social model of disability and disablism, discrimination against disabled people. 

2014: End the Awkward

Two thirds of non-disabled people admit to feeling awkward around disability. We launch our End the Awkward campaign to change this. 

2017: Work With Me

We launch our Work With Me campaign with Virgin Media. The aim is to tackle the barriers disabled people face getting into and staying in work.

2022: 70th anniversary

The focus in our 70th anniversary is to change attitudes towards disability.

Read more about our attitudes research.

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