Coronavirus: information and updates

At a glance

Disability in the UK

There are 14 million disabled people in the UK. That’s 1 in 5 of us. Yet, we know that life is unequal and much harder for disabled people.

Many families with disabled children still don’t receive the support they need. And they face extra costs directly linked to their child’s disability. The number of disabled people in work is still much lower than non-disabled people – despite there being more than 1 million disabled people who want to work.

Disabled people still face too many barriers in everyday life. These include physical barriers, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people’s negative attitudes, like assuming disabled people can’t do certain things.

Our impact

Everything we do at Scope is focused on tackling the inequalities disabled people and their families face.

Support and advice

We provide information, advice and support to disabled people and their families and we campaign to influence public policy, change attitudes and end injustice. Working together with a range of partners, such as employers and product and service providers, as well as the government, we make sure our recommendations are put in place to drive lasting change.

In 2020/21, we reached more than 2.5 million disabled people and their families through our support and advice services – that’s half a million more people than the year before.

  • We had 29,365 calls to our helpline, reached 1,292,906 people through our online community, and had 1,283,026 people view our online information and advice.
  • We supported 1,687 disabled families so they could be more resilient and their children could get the best start in life.
  • We supported 1,897 disabled people to move closer to or get into work.


Last year, we grew the number of people campaigning with Scope for Everyday Equality to 47,000.

Together we have:

  • Written to the Prime Minister asking for disabled people to be included in the government’s coronavirus response and recovery plans. The letter was signed by 30,000 people and organisations.
  • Made sure the Work and Pensions Select Committee listened to disabled people in its inquiry into disability employment. With our support, 300 disabled people shared their experiences of work with the Committee.
  • Got the government to prioritise disabled people who were shielding for online supermarket delivery slots. We worked with other charities to encourage supermarkets to drop delivery charges for disabled people who were shielding.
  • Secured changes from the Office of Rail and Road to make rail replacement services accessible so that disabled people aren’t stranded.


In partnership with others we have:

  • Made sure disabled people on low incomes have financial support with their energy bills, by working with Fair By Design to secure an extension to the Warm Home Discount scheme.
  • Published new research with the Social Market Foundation into the experiences of disabled people using the welfare system. We used this to influence the government’s forthcoming Health and Disability Green Paper.
  • Influenced the forthcoming National Disability Strategy, as part of the Disability Charities Consortium, by publishing our own collective manifesto for change.
  • Called on the government to fill the health and social care funding gap for disabled children, by adding our voice to the #GiveItBack campaign as a member of the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP).
  • Helped restore children’s rights around Education, Health and Care Plans, by supporting the DCP’s #LeftInLockdown campaign.
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