The South-East Network of Disabled People’s Organisations

SENDPO is an inclusive network. By disabled people we mean people of all impairments or long-term conditions. This includes people with mental health support needs, people with learning difficulties, people with physical or sensory impairments, and people of all ages including people who experience disability through the effects of ageing.


SENDPO’s vision is a society where disabled people routinely develop and deliver policy and services which empower them to enjoy opportunities and citizenship, without experiencing disadvantage arising from their impairments.

SENDPO works to the Social Model of Disability and the principles of independent living.

About the social model of disability

Disability is the experience of exclusion, discrimination and social oppression by people with impairments. It is caused by the way society is organised that takes little or no account of people who have impairments. Someone’s impairment or long-term condition would not lead to disability if mainstream society accommodated our different needs.

About the principles of independent living

Independent living is based on on the principle that disabled people should have the same choice, control and freedom as any other citizen – at home, at work, and as members of the community. This does not necessarily mean disabled people doing everything for themselves, but it does mean that any practical assistance people need should be based on their own choices and aspirations.


SENDPO's mission is to create opportunities for South East based DPOs to share experiences and resources, learning from each other in a spirit of self-help and mutual co-operation to build sustainable organisations that may be small but will have a big impact:

  • Promotion and practice of an inclusive, non-impairment, non-age specific, non-discriminatory culture which celebrates and positively encourages equality, inclusion and diversity
  • Promotion of disability equality as a human rights issue, as recognised in the Human Rights Act and UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.


  • To produce and promote evidence of the unique selling points of DPOs and the added value that they bring by being run and controlled by disabled people
  • To encourage the development of new DPOs
  • To ensure SENDPO is controlled and managed by locally-based disabled people
  • To be a single point of contact for facilitating effective, high quality co-production between DPOs and statutory bodies. We define ‘co-production’ as an equal partnership that involves disabled people at every stage in the planning, design and monitoring of public policy and services
  • To develop sustainable relationships with statutory bodies who wish to improve their performance and practice in respect of user involvement, diversity and personalisation
  • To research, develop and publish guidance and toolkits to both statutory organisations and ULOs to aid ULO development, to minimise ‘reinvention of wheels’ and ensure developments are based on the shared experiences of ULOs
  • To work with statutory partners to develop procurement and commissioning systems which encourage user-led service delivery
  • To develop links with other bodies, providing ‘feed-up’ information to a central DPO (for example Disability Rights UK) which is able to use this information to develop national co-ordination of DPO activities.