Posted 05.08.2021

Recent stories we’ve shared highlight the importance of Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) across the UK.  But many people do not know what is meant by a DPO. A clearer understanding of the value of DPOs and how they differ from non-user-led disability charities is needed.

  • DPO is an acronym for Disabled Peoples Organisations
  • DPOs are led, directed and governed by disabled people for disabled people and have an implicit or explicit commitment to the social model of disability and promoting/advancing the human rights of disabled people
  • A DPO is an organisation whose constitution requires it to have a membership and board with a majority of disabled people and whose objectives are the rights and equality of disabled people
  • DPOs have lived experience. Not just the experience of something but also a greater understanding of disabled people's needs, choices or decisions made and their impact and, in particular, experience of the barriers that cause oppression and disability.

General Comment 7 from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Disabled People (CRPD) sets out why disabled people need representation and how DPOs should be resourced to support and provide that.

Read more about what a DPO is and the value of DPOs