Pictures and videos of our history

Scope's historic moments were captured over the decades. Now we can reflect on how far we've come.

Scope has been supporting disabled people and their families for over 60 years. These pictures and films track our transformation from The Spastics Society to Scope and what we've achieved along the way.


Video describing The chance of their lives (1952)
Read the transcript

The chance of their lives (1952)

A film exploring the difficulties faced by people with cerebral palsy in their everyday lives and how little help there used to be for disabled people.

Video describing About Scope (2014)
About Scope film

About Scope (2014)

Scope exists to make the country a more equal and accessible place for disabled people. We also work hard to provide support for disabled people and their families. Learn more about our work in this short film.

Video describing Every eight hours (1960)
Read the transcript

Every eight hours (1960)

Learn more about the early work of The Spastics Society. The title of this film takes its name from the fact that, at the time, one child with cerebral palsy was born every eight hours.

Video describing End the awkward (2014)
Read the transcript

End the awkward (2014)

A film revealing the assumptions and attitudes that create awkward situations for disabled people and their families.

Please note, we are unable to provide transcripts or captions on some of the videos at this time.


Scope opens its first charity shop

People standing outside the first Scope shop

In 1970, we opened our first charity shop in borrowed premises in Sevenoaks, Kent. Scope now has nearly 250 shops.

The Spastics Society donation box

Boy putting money into old Spastics Society charity box

In 1979, Valerie Lang became our first disabled woman trustee and successfully campaigned to replace the collection dolls from our high streets.

Disability Now magazine launch

Assorted front covers of Disability Now magazine

In 1984, Disability Now magazine was launched to provide information for disabled people and their families.

Claire Rayner supports our helpline launch

Claire Rayner holding balloons and holding a baby

In 1990, Claire Rayner helped to launch our helpline to provide free information and support.

40th anniversary

Esther Rantzen celebrates Scope

Esther Rantzen and the Duke of Westminster celebrate our 40th anniversary.

Our name change announcement

Giant banner revealing our new name
We changed our name from The Spastics Society to Scope 20 years ago to reflect our refreshed outlook and the opportunities we created for disabled people and their families.

Ben Elton supporting our new name

Ben Elton supporting Scope in 1994

In 1994, Ben Elton presented William Hague, Minister for Disabled People, with a flag signed by 40 celebrities and 12,000 signatures endorsing equal rights for disabled people.

Inaccessible polling stations

Entrance to polling station with steps and an open door

In 1997, Scope’s Polls Apart report showed that 94% of 1,272 polling stations surveyed (which after all are public buildings like schools and community centres) had access difficulties, denying many disabled people the right to vote independently.

Nelson Mandela 'It's Time to Get Equal'

Nelson Mandela sitting in a chair in front of disability rights banner

In 2004, Nelson Mandela helped launch Time to Get Equal, a campaign that sought to eradicate disablism or prejudice against disabled people.

Quentin Blake illustrates disabled child

Quentin Blake illustrates a disabled child apple picking

2005 'Girl Picking Apples' painting by Quentin Blake was part of Scope's In the Picture campaign, supported by many well-known illustrators, to raise awareness of the need to include disabled children in the books they read.