Strategies for Change

Independent Living Movement Ireland

What is a DPO

What is a Disabled Peoples Organisation (DPO) and Why are They so Important

Guest Presenter – Jacqui Browne 

What the Strategies for Change group learned on the 6th April

A Disabled People’s Organisation is an organisation that are led, directed, and governed by disabled people. It is different from other disability organisations because they are run by disabled people, for disabled people – see: Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs)

DPO’s are rights-based organisations and can be either individual organisations or umbrella/coalition organisations. Their focus can be cross impairment or on a single impairment. They are established primarily to collaborate, express, promote, pursue and/or defend the rights of disabled people. In addition, these groups can be local, national, regional, or international in scope.

DPO’s value all disabled people regardless of impairment, gender, identity, race, ethnicity, and believe:
  • that disabled people have the right to fully participate without discrimination on an equal basis with others
  • in the UNCRPD and all that it embodies
  • that disabled people are in a better position to understand disabled people’s lives because of their collective lived-experience of disablement
  • that they in a stronger position to speak up and speak out about the things that are important to this group of people
  • their views should be given priority over service providers including those that advocate for the rights of disabled people – see: General comment 7 explains criteria for disabled peoples organisations
  • nothing about us, without us!
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