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Turning Point Foundation

Striving for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Sustainable Development

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What is a DPO?

Many international and national organizations are now recognizing and including Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs) in their policies and programs to promote diversity and inclusion. It is need of the hour to understand - What is a DPO? A DPO is the organizations OF persons with disabilities that means most of the persons involved in the organization at all level have disabilities. There are a number of definition of DPOs by different organization, for example:

  • "Organization of disabled persons" means that a majority of the members as well as the governing body shall be persons with disabilities. - Disabled Peoples International (DPI)
  • "DPOs are representative organizations or groups of persons with disabilities (PWDs(, where PWDs constitute a majority of the overall staff, board, and volunteers are well-represented in all levels of the organization. ...DPOs have an understanding of disability in accordance with the social model.- Disability Rights Fund (DRF)
  • DPO is a fundamental organization of persons with disabilities, fully governed and led by themselves, that ensures safeguard of their ownership, effective representation, non-influenced decision and recognition of DPO.- Bangladesh Protibandhi Kallyan Somity (BPKS)
  • A DPO is a legal entity of persons with disabilities, exclusively led by themselves and fulfil organizational standards such as vision, mission, goals, objectives, governing bodies, bylaws, organogram, policies and procedures.- Turning Point Foundation, Bangladesh

The persons with disabilities MUST have ownership, participation and leadership in the DPOs. However, there are debates on the percentage of participation of persons with disabilities in the organizations: some say 100%, some say 66% and some say 51%. Some disability activists emphasize on democratic electoral process to elect leaders for a specific duration.