Live the life I choose

There are a multitude of barriers in society. Physical barriers and negative attitudes can prevent disabled people from living independently and fulfilling their aspirations.

Over the last 6 years, our Everyday Equality strategy focused on breaking down these barriers by:

  • empowering disabled people through our information, advice and support, so that they can make informed decisions about their lives
  • campaigning to make public transport more accessible
  • supporting disabled people to be role models and make change in their communities
  • calling on businesses to harness the potential of digital technology
  • challenging negative public attitudes and pushing for social change
  • celebrating the achievements of people at the forefront of campaigning for disability equality

Information services

  • 6.8 million people visited our online advice and support pages.
  • 8.7 million people visited our online community pages.
  • We answered 190,266 enquiries through our helpline, providing personalised help, advice and information.

Access to information and support is essential so that disabled people can live independently and fulfil personal aspirations. We aimed to empower disabled people by providing information, advice and support, so that they can make informed decisions about their lives.

For the first time I felt truly listened to, understood and respected... I can now move forward with a better direction.

Helpline customer

Travel fair

After successful campaigning by Scope and 1,000 of our campaigners, the Department for Transport committed to creating a Charter that explains disabled people's rights and the standards they should expect.

Launched in 2019, our Travel Fair campaign urges transport providers, regulators and the Government to tackle the inequalities across our public transport system.

Our research found that two thirds of disabled people who had used public transport had experienced problems relating to their impairment.

We heard from disabled passengers who had been stranded for hours, carried up flights of stairs by staff due to broken lifts and who has been lifted on and off vehicles by other passengers.

The campaign was backed by Paralympian and Crossbench peer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. We called for a new Passenger Charter setting out the rights of disabled passengers, so that disabled people know what to expect from transport providers. It would mean more accountability and transparency.

Public transport should be accessible for everyone. Having this Charter passed will help me and my family make better, more informed decisions by providing information that is easy to find.

Bal Deol

Our work in communities

Role models

We reached 3,000 secondary school students with our Role Models programme. The programme ran between 2017 and 2019.

Our workshop sessions, saw a disabled role model share their story and discuss disability, stereotyping and bullying in an open and relaxed space.

Raising awareness of disability 100% changes attitudes. Being a black man with a disability, sometimes you feel like you haven't got a voice. You're often having to work harder, so people look past your condition. Being a role model and raising awareness is important because it will allow the next generation to know it's okay.

Jorden ‘Akes’ James, Scope storyteller

Scope for Change

We supported 24 young people to develop the skills and tools they needed to run campaigns on issues that matter to them.

From 2017 to 2019, we ran Scope for Change, a 6-month campaign training programme for the next generation of disability activists.

Together, they:

  • improved accessibility in schools
  • developed autism-friendly worship services in churches
  • campaigned for legal protections for disabled volunteers
  • raised awareness of the impact of negative language towards disabled people

I’m now so much more confident talking about my disabilities. And using my experiences to hopefully make other people’s experiences better.

Claudia, Scope for Change participant

Youth Community Collective

1,020 young disabled people engaged in projects and events funded by our Youth Community Collective. This innovative partnership with Barclays empowers disabled young people to make change in their local communities.

These pioneering young people launched projects and initiatives across the UK including:

  • implementing sensory friendly study spaces at Cardiff Library
  • creating a sensory map with Peterborough Museum
  • developing a model for sensory friendly music gigs
  • hosting an art exhibition in Peterborough celebrating local disabled artists

I have seen artwork in museums before, but I never thought I would see my own in one.

Galahad, YCC member and artist

We positively affected the lives of an estimated 130,000 people through grants given to 77 local organisations.

£1.5 million was awarded to Scope by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Covid Resilience Fund. We distributed these grants to incredible organisations working with disabled people who were hardest hit by the pandemic.

These organisations are dedicated to improving the wellbeing of disabled people, helping them to make friends and develop confidence and resilience in safe and supportive environments. Projects included:

  • a Happiness Café set up by Dial Leeds to support individuals who experience loneliness, isolation and marginalisation
  • a fully accessible activity from Simply Cycling that focuses on improving the mobility of disabled people who have been adversely affected by periods of isolation and inactivity
  • a parent led support group for families whose children are on the Autism Spectrum

Harnessing the power of digital technology

The Big Hack

Scope launched the Big Hack in 2019 as a call-to-action for businesses and the tech industry to improve the digital world for disabled people.

It aimed to ensure that digital technology is designed inclusively and meets disabled consumer’s needs.

We created an online resource hub on digital accessibility. 203,080 users have visited our Resource Hub pages.

The Big Hack also examined the progress on improving digital accessibility within a number of different industries such as the media and supermarkets. 4,000 disabled people used Scope’s reporting tool to submit 23,733 responses.

Focus on streaming services

3,337 disabled people gave feedback on the accessibility of streaming services. As a result, seven channels have improved the accessibility of their website or app.

In 2020, we audited the accessibility of 12 popular TV streaming services including Netflix, Disney+, ITV Hub, All4 and BBC iPlayer.

Disabled people shared insights on their experience of captions, audio description and navigation. We found that 80% of disabled people had experienced accessibility issues, and one in five had cancelled their subscription because of accessibility issues. Many felt frustrated and excluded, and this was heightened by missing TV news during the lockdown.

The hardest thing for me is when my young sons want to watch something which doesn’t have audio description. I don’t want to stop them from watching, but I feel like I’m missing out on those precious moments together. That can feel really isolating, especially at the moment during lockdown.”

Simon Wheatcroft

Challenging negative attitudes

Negative attitudes and stereotypes are the root cause of the inequality faced by disabled people today. That’s why we have made it the focus of so much of our campaigning and research over the years.

Attitudes research

In 2018, we published our Disability Perception Gap report. We looked at the British Social Attitudes Survey in detail to examine the prejudice that disabled people face every day, and to better understand the public’s attitude towards disabled people.

In 2022, we launched our latest Attitudes research. This is the largest survey of disabled peoples’ experiences of negative attitudes. We found that 3 in 4 disabled people have experienced negative attitudes and behaviour from others. For disabled women, these experiences are even more frequent. And for younger disabled people, these experiences are more common.

From the judgement of others about what disabled people are capable of, to the constant questioning and having to justify yourself, to confrontation, discrimination and physical abuse.

Disabled people told us that the benefits system, the workplace, the media and public attitudes all need to improve.

When I went to the pub people looked at me. And started taking the mickey out of me, making me feel worthless and alone. I didn’t socialise for a while because of how it made me feel.

Survey respondent

We use our research results to produce policy recommendations for government and business. And it informs our relentless campaigning on attitude change.

What Works: Changing attitudes in the creative industry

Earlier this year, Scope brought together around 100 leaders from across the advertising industry to launch our new research on What Works to change attitudes.

Scope ambassador Shani Dhanda hosted the event. We heard from disabled creator, comedian and educator Fats Timbo and disabled actor and model Ekow Otoo. They shared their experiences and discussed the importance of media representation.

Our new research study tested different campaign messages with 5,000 members of the public to find out which ones were the most effective.

We hope our findings are now influencing the many advertising campaigns that sponsors will be developing leading up to the Paralympic games in Paris in 2024.

Invisible disabilities

Our Invisible disabilities campaign reached 28.2 million adults.

In 2021, we partnered with ITV on their Invisible disabilities marketing campaign. The TV advert, featuring The Chase star Paul Sinha and author and TV personality Katie Piper, aimed to increase viewers’ awareness of invisible impairments and conditions. The supporting website had tips and advice for audiences on how to deepen their understanding and become disability allies.

  • 43% of viewers said the campaign increased their awareness of invisible disabilities.
  • 64% of disabled people said this campaign made them feel seen.

The impact of the campaign was recognised at the British Diversity Awards where it won Marketing Campaign of the year.

Ever since my diagnosis with Parkinson's Disease I have noticed how much of the public are only dimly aware of the symptoms, and how much many press outlets deliberately misrepresent. Working with Scope and ITV’s Invisible Disabilities is my way of helping redress this.

Paul Sinha

Celebrating achievements: Scope Disability Equality Awards

In 2022, to mark Scope’s 70th anniversary, we held the first Scope Disability Equality Awards. The ceremony put a spotlight on the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations who are campaigning for disability equality, challenging attitudes and bringing about social change.

The Awards, held at Twickenham Stadium, were hosted by gold medal winning Paralympian Kadeena Cox OBE. 200 guests attended the ceremony including:

  • disabled campaigners
  • community champions
  • journalists
  • social media influencers
  • role models
  • business leaders

And hundreds more tuned into the livestream.

The event was co-produced with a group of disabled people over a 10-month period. The group was heavily involved in all aspects of event design and planning.

It was a wonderful event - I was inspired both by the people from Scope that I met and chatted with, and by the talented awesome people in the room

Guest feedback