This film is part of Free

The Disabled and Work

A film which shows the desire and dedication of those with disability to become integrated into the world of work.

Documentary 1981 32 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A chance to get some idea of how far we as a society have come in relation to the disabled, and how far we have yet to go. This documentary on the Cleveland Spastics Work Centre coincided with the 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons, and shows those with cerebral palsy doing a variety of work, and giving voice to their own charter. It also reveals, perhaps, a residual paternalism and highlights the continual difficulties that still exist for unsupported carers.

The Centre in Acklam was run by the Cleveland Spastics Society, established in 1979. The national Spastics Society relaunched itself as Scope in 1994, and subsequently the Centre was renamed Scope on Teesside in 1996, becoming Teesside Ability Support Centre in 2005. It is still in operation, having widened its services to include educational courses, sporting activities and hydrotherapy. Despite common misconceptions, Scope claims that “children with cerebral palsy cover the same range of intelligence as other children”. The term spastic is still used to refer to a medical condition but became less used during the 1980s as the word was widely used as a term of abuse.