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Thrust Areas of Persons With Disabilities Act

Education and Disability

In general, the Governments and the Local Authorities shall –

  • ensure that every child with a disability has access to free education in an appropriate environment till he attains the age of eighteen years;
  • endeavor to promote the integration of students with disabilities in the normal schools;
  • promote setting up of special schools in Government and private sector for those in need of special education, in such a manner that children with disabilities living in any part of the country have access to such schools;
  • endeavor to equip the special schools for children with disabilities with vocational training facilities.
  • conduct part-time classes in respect of children with disabilities who having completed education up to class fifth and could not continue their studies on a whole-time basis;
  • conduct special part-time classes for providing functional literacy for children in the age group of sixteen and above;
  • impart non-formal education by utilizing the available manpower in rural areas after giving them appropriate orientation;
  • impart education through open schools or open universities;
  • conduct class and discussions through interactive electronic or other media;
  • provide every child with disability free of cost special books and equipments needed for his education.
  • Initiate research by official and non-governmental agencies for the purpose of designing and developing new assistive devices, teaching aids, special teaching materials or such other items as are necessary to give a child with disability equal opportunities in education.
  • Set up adequate number of teachers’ training institutions and assist the national institutes and other voluntary organizations to develop teachers’ training programs specializing in disabilities so that requisite trained manpower is available for special schools and integrated schools for children with disabilities.
  • Prepare a comprehensive education scheme which shall make provision for –
  1. transport facilities to the children with disabilities or in the alternative financial incentives to parents or guardians to enable their children with disabilities to attend schools;
  2. to the removal of architectural barriers from schools, colleges or other institutions imparting vocational and professional training;
  3. the supply of books, uniforms and other materials to children with disabilities attending school;
  4. the grant of scholarship to students with disabilities;
  5. setting up of appropriate fora for the redressal of grievances of parents regarding the placement of their children with disabilities;
  6. suitable modification in the examination system to eliminate purely mathematical questions for the benefit of blind students and students with low vision;
  7. restructuring of curriculum for the benefit of children with disabilities;
  8. restructuring the curriculum for benefit of students with hearing impairment;
  9. tofacilitate them to take only one language as part of their curriculum.
  10. All educational institutions shall provide or cause to be provided amanuensis to blind students and students with or low vision.

Employment and Disability

The Right to employment of persons with disabilities is protected under the Persons with Disabilities Act. Issues involved in this area include creating and reserving posts under the disability category, protecting rights on acquiring disability, reinstatement, promotion, compassionate employment, concessions, compensation, and alternate employment.
The Governments and Local Authorities shall:

  • Identify posts, in the establishments, which can be reserved for the persons with disability;
  • At periodical intervals not exceeding three years, review the list of posts identified and up-date the list taking into consideration the developments in technology.
  • Every employer shall maintain such record in relation to the person with disability employed in his establishment in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the appropriate government which shall be open to inspection by authorized persons.
  • Formulate schemes for ensuring employment of persons with disabilities, and such schemes may provide:
  1. the training and welfare of persons with disabilities;
  2. the relaxation of upper age limit regulating the employment;
  3. health and safety measures and creation of a non-handicapping environment in places where persons with disabilities are employed;
  4. the manner in which and the persons by whom the cost of operating the schemes is to be defrayed; and
  • Reservations in several areas have also been envisaged by the Laws such as
  1. All Government educational institutions and other educational institutions receiving aid from the Government, shall reserve not less than three per cent seats for persons with disabilities.
  2. The Governments and local authorities shall reserve not less than three per cent in all poverty alleviation schemes for the benefit of persons with disabilities.
  • The Governments and the local authorities shall, within the limits of their economic capacity and development, provide incentives to employers both in public and private sectors to ensure that at least five per cent of their work force is composed of persons with disabilities.

Affirmative Action

The Governments shall by notification make schemes to provide aids and appliances to persons with disabilities. They shall frame schemes in favour of persons with disabilities, for the preferential allotment of land at consessional rates for –
a. housing
b. setting up of business;
c. setting up of special recreation centres;
d. establishment of special schools;
e. establishment of research centres;
f. establishment of factories by entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Non-Discrimination

  • Establishments in the transport sector shall, within the limits of their economic capacity and development for the benefit of persons with disabilities, take special measures to
  1. adapt rail compartments, buses, vessels and aircrafts in such a way as to permit easy access to such persons and to
    adapt toilets in rail compartments, vessels, aircrafts and waiting rooms in such a way as to permit the wheel chair users to use them conveniently.
  • The Governments and the local authorities shall, within the limits of their economic capacity and development, provide for
  1. installation of auditory signals at red lights in the public roads for the benefit of persons with visual handicap;
  2. causing curb cuts and slopes to be made in pavements for the easy access of wheel chair users;
  3. engraving on the surface of the zebra crossing for the blind or for persons with low vision;
  4. engraving on the edges of railway platforms for the blind or for persons with low vision;
  5. devising appropriate symbols of disability
  6. warning signals at appropriate places.
  7. ramps in public building;
  8. adaptation of toilets for wheel chair users;
  9. braille symbols and auditory signals in elevators or lifts;
  10. ramps in hospitals, primary health centres and other medical care and rehabilitation institutions.

Guardianship

Under the Indian law, certain issues relating to persons with disability are dealt with differently from the ones, which relate to a non-disabled person. One such instance is the transaction made by a person of unsound mind (including those with mental retardation and mental illness).
This law is based on the principle that any party to a transaction (involving money or property) is valid if both parties are able to give consent and is fully aware of the implication of the act. A person of unsound mind is, due to the nature of the disability, believed not to be in a position to understand the implications of any transaction. Therefore, all transactions made by such a person are not considered valid. Hence, the Court appoints a guardian in the absence of a natural guardian to represent such person to protect his interest.
Usually, guardians are close relatives. However, in the absence of any such person or when the Court is not convinced that the relative in question is appropriate, is a third party appointed the guardian.
Courts have played a significant role in protecting the interests of such people.

Adoption and Inheritance by Persons with Disabilities

Rights of persons with disability, especially of certain groups are limited in nature. Personal laws in India do not consider adoption by persons with certain disabilities as valid. Nonetheless, if a child is adopted then, he or she is automatically entitled to all rights of inheritance. However, should the validity of the adoption be questioned, then the issue of the rights to inheritance gets a little complicated.
Courts have made very useful interventions in resolving such situations. It has been the opinion of the Judiciary in these cases that the validity of such an adoption is entirely dependent on the severity and type of the foster parent’s disability. Questions have been raised as to what should be the nature of the mental disability to disentitle and adopted child from inheritance rights. This was clarified in a case where the Court held that only children who were adopted by a foster parent who was mentally disabled from birth were not entitled to inherit their father’s property.

Travel Concessions

  • By Bus

Concessions are provided for persons with physical impairments and visually handicaps. Student concessions are provided to all children. Mostly each state has its own policy.

  • By Rail

As per the Order of Ministry of Railway, Government of India, concessions are available for the disabled; The concession is available as a percentage on the total cost of the tickets and varies with the type of disabilities. In general, blind persons, orthopaedically handicapped persons, deaf & dumb persons, Mentally Retarded persons are entitled to concessions.

  • By Air

Again, concessions of varying percentages on cost are available to blind persons, and those with loco motor disabilities

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