What we do and why we do it

Older male wheelchair user being assisted by female. Both are smilingWe are the UK’s leading charity supporting disabled people. We work for a society in which every person is equally valued. We believe that disabled people should have the freedom to live their lives the way they choose — to live independently, contribute economically, and participate fully in society.

Many people already know that we provide housing with care. But we also support disabled people into education and jobs, encouraging them to develop their skills and learn new ones through volunteering.

And we offer short breaks for disabled people and their families. In all of our services, we work with different individuals in different ways, depending on what they want from life.

We also campaign on issues that are important to disabled people — from improving the provision of care and support to making transport more accessible. We challenge ignorance and unfairness about disability wherever we find it, to change society for the better.

Our dedicated disability research centre at University College London provides evidence and data, giving us the tools we need to shape policy, change attitudes and put disability at the heart of the global development agenda. We work directly in 13 countries across Africa and Asia, and we’re also part of the Leonard Cheshire Global Alliance, supporting disabled people in 54 countries.

Over 65 years ago, our founder’s vision was centred on the essential unity of ‘the human family’ with a belief in the power of individuals to create a more liveable world. That ambition lives on today.

Key facts and figures

  • Staff member and wheelchair user outside one of our servicesAcross all of the UK, we offer over 200 services providing the full range of support that disabled people need to live well.
  • We run 50 employment and volunteering programmes for disabled people.
  • We directly supported over 6,700 disabled people in the UK.
  • Over 13,000 disabled people in 13 other countries benefited from our employment and education projects.
  • 4,000 volunteers helped disabled people to take part in social and leisure activities, from cinema trips to sports events, and learn new skills.
  • We have 7,100 staff, of whom almost 90% provide direct support to disabled people.