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Words and language are powerful tools. We recognise the diversity of disability and the many different ways of talking about disability. Language is always evolving and the NDRP working party is committed to being respectful, inclusive, and open to change. 

The following list explains the language and terms which the NDRP Working Party has chosen to use. 

  • Advocacy organisation: Advocacy organisation refers to an organisation that unites a group of people to change discriminatory norms, laws and/or policies in order to promote and defend their human rights. An advocacy organisation may provide individual advocacy, which means standing beside a person to support them in changing discriminatory attitudes or practices that violate their human rights.

  • Carer: A person providing unpaid care and support for a person with disability.

  • Critical success factors: A list of key things that have been agreed to by the NDRP working party and the Department of Social Services, to decide whether the NDRP is reaching its goal.  

  • Disability community: The term that has been chosen to encompass people with disability, families of people with  disability, their carers, disability support workers and disability service providers. It is preferred to ‘disability sector’, which is often used, because people with disability are not a ‘sector’. 

  • Disabled People’s Organisation (DPOs): An organisation owned and run by people with disability. Its board and staff are at least 50% disabled, plus the CEO (or equivalent) is a disabled person. DPOs have representative status of disabled people.

  • Establishment phase: A two year period from June 2020 to June 2022, for which the Melbourne Disability Institute received funding from the Department of Social Services. The establishment phase will do the groundwork for a longer term partnership and deliver five key outcomes: a governance model, a research agenda, a practical guide to NDRP research, a plan to build research capacity and two pilot projects.

  • Inclusive research: Research that is done with and by people with disability. It is research that involves and respects people with disability. It is also accessible and easily understood.

  • NDRP Working Party: A group of 13 people with disability, academics and independent advisors who will help facilitate the establishment of the NDRP and guide the deliverables. This working group will be in place until June 2022. 

  • Peak bodies: A peak body is a non-government organisation whose membership consists of smaller organisations with a shared purpose.

  • People with disability: The term 'people with disability' has been chosen, rather than 'disabled people' because it is  person-first language. However, it is recognised that many people with disability now prefer the term disabled people.

  • Pilot project: Pilot projects are collaborative research projects in the NDRP establishment phase. The purpose of pilot projects is to test and improve the way NDRP principles guide research activities. A small number of pilot projects will be released to tender in 2021 and will address priorities raised in the research agenda.

  • Research capability: An individual person's research knowledge, skills and attitudes or interest. The key difference compared to research capacity is that capability is about strengthening an individual's research skills or ability. 

  • Research capacity: Teams, organisations and disciplines having the ability (research expertise, knowledge and skills) to undertake research activities and disseminate research findings, as well as the organisational culture, funding, infrastructure, time and incentives to do research. 

  • Research infrastructure: Facilities, resources and services that are used by the research community to conduct research. Research infrastructure includes equipment, libraries, data, computing systems and communication networks. 

  • Stakeholders: people with disability; their families, allies and supporters; academics; governments; mainstream and disability services; and industry.

  • Support worker: A person who is paid to provide support or care.

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