Colin Barnes was one of the founders of the social model of disability, a political and theoretical shift in disability studies. From a biomedical perspective, centered on the body’s limitations, the views in disability studies were then widened. Barnes, a sociologist influenced by a marxist perspective, has theoretical and existential experience in the field — he is also disabled, which makes him an activist of ideas and actions. His extensive work has not been translated into Portuguese, and this interview is the first approach to his ideas in the language. For this reason, we chose to explore twenty-five years of constructions and conceptual reformulations of the author, his work with Michael Oliver, one of the founders of the social model in the UK, and his most recent criticisms of the language used by the World Health Organization regarding public policies on disability. Barnes founded the independent publishing house Disability Press, which released and promoted important publications and authors in the field. He is currently a professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds, UK, a major center in the field of disability studies.