Our History

The DLF was founded by Lady (Pix) Hamilton in late 1969, at the same time that DLF Vice-President Lord Morris of Manchester was putting forward his Chronically Sick And Disabled Persons Bill which was steered to Royal Assent in 1970. In the fifty years since its launch, DLF has worked to improve the lives of disabled adults and children, older people and their families and carers. Following are some key milestones in its history. You can also download our brochure on DLF’s history for more information.

Our History

What you think…

"In this information age DLF is even more important than when it first started. It is too easy to get lost in the mass of material about equipment that might be of help and few people have the time to sort it all out - especially when you are newly disabled. I have always valued the systematic collection and organisation of equipment information that DLF provides."

Baroness Wilkins

1969 - DLF founded
1971 - DLF opens its Equipment Demonstration Centre to the public
1971 - DLF relies on a paper reference system. It publishes equipment lists bi-monthly and has plans for an index of products
1974 - DLF runs its first training courses
1981 - DLF mounts the world’s first exhibition of daily living equipment for disabled people in developing countries
1983 - Department of Trade and Industry agrees to allocate Year of Information Technology Funds to update DLF’s thesaurus and computerise its central information bank
1985 - Her Majesty The Queen opens DLF’s new Headquarters in Harrow Road
1987 - DLF’s printed equipment lists are compiled into a ring binder to go on sale as the ‘Information Service Handbook’. A new computer system is specified to replace the old one with a view to online access as a fee-based service
1992 - Illustrations are introduced to the information handbook and it is renamed The Hamilton Index (now known as The Hamilton Directory)
1995 - DLF launches its Silver Jubilee appeal, which raises £400,000. Celebrations include a House of Lords reception, a fun bike marathon and an art exhibition
1995 - DLF organises its first conference, ‘Moving and Handling: Implementing Good Practice’. This annual event (now called Moving & Handling People) continues to be a must-attend event for health and social care professionals
1995 - DLF’s first internet page and DLF Data on CD-ROM are launched
2000 - DLF’s website is redesigned with improved navigation
2003 - DLF pioneers the first Trusted Assessor Training programme in the UK - now accredited by the Open College Network
2005 - EASTIN portal is launched - information portal containing information on products available in six European countries, developed with five European partners
2006 - DLF launches first online version of its guided advice tool AskSARA
2006 - DLF launches Bathing made easy as a pilot for making its information and advice available free-of-charge for public use on the internet. This is followed by Telecare made easy in 2008.
2008 - Following the success of the pilot sites, DLF merges them and adds further sections to relaunch as Living made easy, DLF’s public advice and information portal on daily living equipment
2009 - Thanks to funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, DLF launches Living made easy for children, a section of Living made easy focussing on items for children and young people
2009 - DLF relaunches its website as part of its 40th Anniversary celebrations
2010 - DLF adds videoclips to Living made easy
2014 - DLF becomes part of The Shaw Trust enabling its information and advice to be shared through a range of employment and other programmes
2018 - DLF broadens its range of Trusted Assessor courses to include a range of levels and specialisations such as telecare Trusted Assessor Training programme in the UK - appointing a range of regional training venues and recruiting new freelance trainers
2019 - DLF recruits a team of regionally based representatives to raise the profile of its services and engage in local partnerships

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