Atkinson is currently director of external affairs at Ambitious about Autism and will take up the role on 28 October, replacing interim comms head Jan Smith.
At Scope, Atkinson will lead four teams: PR and Stories, Stakeholder Engagement, Digital and Brand and Marketing.
Scope’s CEO Richard Hawkes said: ‘One year after the Paralympics, legacy for ordinary disabled people hangs in the balance. It’s never been more important that we work with disabled people to speak out on these issues.
‘If we want to make this country a better place for disabled people we have to do exceptional communications. The whole sector has to step up. We have to speak loudly, with one voice and in ways that cut through to our audiences.
‘That’s why I’ve brought Mark in. He brings considerable knowledge and understanding of the disability sector and has strong ideas about the difference that Scope can make now and in the future.’
Atkinson has worked at Ambitious About Autism for three-and-a-half years and has led the introduction and development of a new brand and identity.
Before this, he was director of comms and policy for the Youth Sport Trust.
In a recent column for PRWeek on the Paralympic legacy, the charity’s head of media relations Daniel Mazliah warned that the awareness raised by the games was under threat.