HAD originated in 1972, a small grass roots organisation, from a group of disabled people and supporters, who felt that such a group was required to enable people to move out of poverty. There was a great initial focus on welfare benefits. There were at the time, several local organisations to support people with learning disabilities, or mental health needs, and a couple of national organisations which offered some kind of support to people who were deaf or hard of hearing, or who had visual impairments or were blind.
However, there was nothing for people with physical disabilities, and the world around was extremely inaccessible to this group. HAD is a pan impairment organisation, but is often perceived as being for people with physical disabilities only, as it is the only local organisation for this group.
HAD started to gradually be funded by the local statutory sector to provide services, and the range available has changed, generally expanding over the years.
In 2000, HAD became a Company Ltd by Guarantee and a Registered charity, and has been so ever since.
Over time, HAD had built a reputation with local people and professionals.