Here you’ll find definitions for some terms often used in the disability community.

Capacity Building

To develop and strengthen skills, knowledge and problem solving.

Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO)

An organisation led by disabled people themselves.

Independent Living 

Independent Living means disabled people having the same freedom, dignity and control as other citizens at home, at work and in the community. It does not mean living by yourself or fending for yourself. It means the rights to practical assistance and support to participate in society and live an ordinary life.

Lived Experience

Recent and direct experience of something.

Lived Experience Leadership

People who use their recent and direct experience to inform and lead their work and get positive change for their communities.

The Social Model of Disability 

The social model was developed by disabled people and it is supported by organisations led by disabled people. It says that we are disabled by barriers not an impairment or long-term health condition. Barriers may be physical barriers to access, such as stairs instead of ramps or not providing subtitles on videos. They can also be social, such as making assumptions about what disabled people can do and what’s best for us. These barriers exclude us from participating in society on an equal basis. If these barriers are removed, a person may still have an impairment but would not experience disability. Read an explanation of the Social Model of Disability.