07. What is an “OPD”?

An organization of persons with disabilities, or OPD (also referred to as a Disabled persons’ organization, or DPO), is a representative organization or group of persons with disabilities, where persons with disabilities constitute a majority of the overall staff, board, and volunteers in all levels of the organization. It includes organizations of relatives of persons with disabilities (only those representing groups without legal capacity to form organizations, such as children with disabilities and persons with intellectual disabilities) where a primary aim of these organizations is empowerment and the growth of self-advocacy of persons with disabilities.

OPDs have an understanding of disability in accordance with the social model, which notes that barriers are caused by society, rather than by a person’s disability.

DRF encourages applications from OPDs representing marginalized sectors of the disability community.