This page gives answers to common questions that we are asked about our work.
Click the question to find out more.
CDC subscribes to the social model of disability. The social model was developed by disabled people and says that disability is caused by the way society is organised rather than by a person’s impairment of difference. It takes the view that it is physical, organisational and attitudinal barriers that ‘disable’ people from participating fully and on an equal basis with others.
This way of thinking takes the responsibility off individuals to change and makes inclusion and access everybody’s issue. Disabled people developed the social model because the traditional medical model did not take account of their own experience or help develop more inclusive ways of living.
The social model stands in contrast to the medical model of disability. The medical model sees disability as a ‘problem’ that belongs to the disabled person. Disability is not seen as an issue that concerns anyone other than the individual. The focus is therefore on ‘fixing’ the person rather than the environment. This view can lead disabled people to believe that their impairments automatically prevent them from taking part in social activities and may be less likely to challenge exclusion and discrimination.
The views, ideas and opinions of children and young people are very important to us and form the basis of all the work we do.
We work with them in a variety of different ways depending on the topic or project we’re working on. In the past this has included hosting focus groups on accessible technology and inclusive practices and advisory groups on government proposals. We also recruited and trained a team of young researchers on the Viper Research; the largest literature review and research project on the participation of disabled young people to date.
More recently, we have facilitated the FLARE young people's group as part of the Making Participation Work contract, jointly commissioned with Kids by the Department for Education. It is a national participation programme with disabled children and young people, and children and young people with SEN.
We stay in touch with all of the children and young people we work with through our young CDC alumni network. Through the network we offer ongoing opportunities to advocate, contribute or speak out on disability issues.
To read more about our work with children and young people go to Making Ourselves Heard; our dedicated network for the participation of children and young people.
We work with parent carers in a number of different ways. They are involved in advising us, representing parent views in national forums, co-producing materials and training and in many cases overseeing the work we do.
We have parent carer representatives on the IASP Reference/steering group and many of our members are parent-led organisations. We work closely with local parent carer forums and several of our projects involve working closely with the National Network of Parent Carer Forums.
We will also soon be launching an individual membership scheme, which will allow parent carers to keep up to date with our work.
We host an online library of resources that you can access freely but unfortunately we are unable to provide advice or support directly to families. However there are a number of organisations who provide information, advice and support both locally and nationally through dedicated helplines. You can find a full list or organisations and support groups in our help section.
We believe that inclusion is a journey with a clear direction and purpose: equality of opportunity for all children and young people. This means that all disabled children, young people and their families feel welcome and their views and opinions respected. That they have equal access to play, learning, leisure and all aspects of life. That they actively involved in decisions that affect them and that they are able to access the skills, knowledge and expertise that will help them lead empowering lives.
For more information about inclusion you can read the CDC inclusion policy here.