The history of the movement of people with disabilities in Italy is far from being written. The challenge poses many problems to the historical research: the sources are often incomplete and scattered in associative and often private archives; the individual stories of the associations are still scarce and mainly celebratory; also publications on the subject are really modest. This article will attempt to defi ne a fi rst reconstruction of the history of the association movements, starting from the First World War until the early Seventies of the last century, putting it in connection with what was happening outside of Italy.