Acts In Disability
Special laws for persons
- All the persons in the country
are entitled to equal rights and equal protection
of laws under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
This also applies to persons with disabilities.
- In exercise of this right,
at any time, a disabled person can approach the court
if he faces any unreasonable discrimination based
on his disability.
- The Constitution, however,
permits positive discrimination and hence special
laws can be passed for creating rights and reservations
in favour of disabled persons, to enable them to bridge
the gap with the non-disabled.
The 'special laws' for disabled
- The Persons with Disabilities
(Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full
Participation) Act, 1995 (in short, referred to as
'Disabilities Act' or 'the Act' hereinafter)
- The National Trust for Welfare
of Persons With Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation
and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999
- Rehabilitation Council of
India Act, 1992
- Mental Health Act, 1987
- United Nations Convention
on Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2008
Do you KNOW your RIGHTS?
Equal Opportunity Rights
For Disabled Persons
The Persons with Disabilities
(Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and full
Participation) Act, 1995, rolls out a charter of rights
to empower and mainstream disabled persons.
Q. What are the goals of the
Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection
of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995?
- To integrate persons with
disabilities and to provide them with opportunities
for full participation in society
- To create a society in which
disabled persons would enjoy equal status on par with
Q. Are all disabled people
entitled to the benefits of the Disability Act?
A. The general benefits of the Disabilities
Act are meant for all disabled persons. However, the
rights earmarked specially for "persons with disablity"
are for only those affected by any of the following
disabilities, to the extent of 40% or more, as certified
by a recognised medical authority:
• Hearing impairment
• Locomotive disability
• Mental retardation
• Mental illness
I am well-qualified, but because
of my disability no one employs me. Will the Act help
me find a suitable job?
Q What does the Disabilities
Act provide for employment of disabled persons?
A. The Act provides the following
to ensure employment for disabled persons:
- 3% vacancies on identified
posts in each government establishment are reserved
for disabled persons, 1% each for: (i) persons with
blindness or low vision (ii) persons with hearing
impairment and (iii) persons with locomotor disability
or cerebral palsy.
- Carry-forward of a reserved
vacancy in the next recruitment year if not filled
in any recruitment year.
- Filling up of the reserved
vacancy by interchange among the three categories
in the next recruitment year if it remains unfilled
or when a vacancy cannot be filled by a given category
of disabled due to the nature of the vacancy
- Notifications to be issued
on related matters like: Special Employment Exchanges,
Training, Health and Safety Measures, Creation of
a non-handicapping environment in work places employing
Q. How does the Act protect
a disabled person from discrimination at work?
A. The Disabilities Act prohibits
- A disabled person working
in any government establishment cannot be denied promotion
merely on the ground of his disability
- Anyone employed in a government
establishment who acquires a disability during his
Cannot be dispensed with or reduced in rank
- If, after acquiring the disability,
an employee is not suitable to continue on his post,
he may be shifted to a suitable post with the same
pay-scale and service benefits
- Pending availability of
a suitable post, a supernumerary post should be created
for such a person
Q. Does the Act provide for
employment in public and private sectors?
A. The government must announce schemes
providing incentives to employers in public and private
sectors which employ persons with disabilities comprising
at least 5% of their workforce.
Q. Does the Act promote entrepreneurship/ownership
amongst disabled persons?
A. The Act provides for preferential
allotment of land to disabled persons by government
at concessional rates for building their own houses,
setting up business or factories and establishing special
schools, research or recreational centres.
Q. How does the Disabilities Act set
out to achieve its goals?
A. To achieve its goals, the Disabilities
Act provides for the following:
- Education of disabled persons
- Employment of disabled persons
- Special facilities for disabled
persons for use and access of public transport system,
civic amenities and public buildings/places
- Preferential allotment to
help disabled persons set up businesses and factories,
build own houses, special schools and special recreation
- Prevention and early detection
- Rehabilitation and social
security of disabled persons
- Research and manpower development
on disability issues
- Recognition of institutions
for disabled persons
- Setting up of dedicated
authorities at central and state levels, for "coordination",
"execution" and "adjudication"
with regard to implementing the Act
Finding ways of preventing
disability in the first place can save much agony. What
does the Act say about that?
Q.What steps must be taken
by the government for prevention and early detection
of occurrence of disability?
A. Government and local authorities
- Undertake surveys, investigations
and research on causes of disabilities
- Promote various methods
of preventing disabilities
- Screen all the children
at least once a year to identify 'at-risk' cases
- Organise awareness campaigns
and disseminate information for general hygiene, health
- Take measures for pre-natal,
perinatal and postnatal care of mother and child
- Educate the public through
pre-schools, schools, primary health centres, village
level workers and anganwadi workers
- Create awareness among the
masses, through television, radio and other mass media,
on the causes of disability and preventive measures
I dream of 'going to school
like the other children...' can the Disabilities Act
make this dream come true for me?
Q.Is there any duty on the
government's part to provide and promote, education
among disabled persons?
To provide education to persons with
disabilities, the government must:
- Ensure free education for
every disabled person, in an appropriate , environment,
till 18 years of age
- Promote integration of disabled
students in mainstream schools
- For those in need of special
education, promote setting up of special schools in
the government and private sectors, equip these schools
with vocational training facilities and ensure that
disabled students living in every part of the country
have access to such schools.
- For infrastructure and other
support, announce schemes for:
- Transport facilities for disabled children
or, in the alternative, financial incentives to
parents/guardians to enable their disabled children
to attend schools
- Removal of architectural barriers from schools,
colleges or other institutions imparting vocational
and professional training to make them accessible
- Supply of books, uniforms and other material
to disabled children
- Grant of scholarships to disabled students
- Setting up of appropriate forums for redressal
of grievances of parents regarding placement of
their disabled children
- Suitable modification in the examination system
for the benefit of visually impaired students,
to eliminate purely mathematical questions
- Restructuring of curriculum for the benefit
of all the disabled children, specifically for
students with hearing impairment, allowing learning
in only one language
- Amanuensis (scribes/writers) for visually impaired
- To develop institutional support, set up adequate
number of teachers' training institutions and
assist the national institutes and other voluntary
organisations to develop teachers' training programmes
specialising in disabilities
- Make schemes in the area of non-formal education
of disabled persons
But I can't travel in any public
transport or access most buildings. What about this?
Q What should the government
do under the Disabilities Act to prevent discrimination
against disabled persons in using modes of transport?
A. Government establishments related
to the transport sector must:
- Adapt rail compartments,
buses, vessels and aircraft for easy access and use
by disabled persons
- Adapt toilets in rail compartments,
ships and other vessels, aircraft and waiting rooms
for the convenience of wheel-chair users
Q.What should the government
do under the Disabilities Act to prevent discrimination
in use of roads by disabled persons?
A.The government must provide for:
- Auditory traffic signals,
engravings on the surface of zebra crossings and on
the edges of railway platforms to assist visually
- Slopes in pavements for
easy access of wheel-chair users
- Appropriate symbols of disability
- Warning signals at appropriate
Q. What should the government
do under the Disabilities Act to enable disabled persons
to access public buildings?
A. The government must provide the
following in public buildings:
- Ramps in all public buildings,
especially in hospitals, primary health centres and
other medical care and rehabilitation centres
- Adapted toilets for wheel-chair
- Braille symbols and auditory
signals in lifts
Q. What should the government do under
the Disabilities Act for 'social security' and 'rehabiIitation'
of disabled persons?
A. The government must:
- Frame schemes for payment
of 'unemployment allowance' to disabled persons registered
with the Special Employment Exchange for more than
two years but still unemployed
- Issue notification framing
'insurance scheme' or 'security scheme' for its employees
- Undertake 'rehabilitation'
of all disabled persons to enable them to reach and
maintain optimal physical, sensory, intellectual,
psychiatric or social functional levels, including
providing aids and appliances.
Who implements the Act? Is
there any special office for readdressal of our grievances?
Q. Who is the implementing authority
under the Disabilities Act?
A. The Disabilities Act provides
for the following authorities:
- Chief Commissioner (at the
central level) and State Commissioners
- Central and State Coordination
- Central and State Executive
Q. What are the powers of Chief Commissioner/State
A.The powers of Chief Commissioner/State
Commissioners are as follows:
- The Chief Commissioner may,
on his own, or on the application of any aggrieved
person, or otherwise, look into complaints with respect
- Deprivation of rights of disabled person
- Non-implementation of laws, rules, bye-laws,
regulations, executive orders, guidelines or instructions
framed for welfare and protection of rights of
- The Chief Commissioner may
thereafter take up the matter with the appropriate
- The Chief Commissioner shall
Coordinate the work of the State Commissioners
Monitor the utilisation of funds disbursed by the
Safeguard the rights and facilities available to disabled
- The State Commissioners
have the same powers/functions, but at the state level
Q. What are the functions assigned
to the Coordination Committees?
A. The Central and State Coordination
Committees - at central and state levels respectively
- must review and coordinate the activities of all government
departments and NGOs and advise the respective government
on formulation of disability-related policies, programmes,
legislation and projects. They must also monitor and
evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed
for achieving equality and full participation of disabled
people and such other functions as may be prescribed
by the government.
Q. What are the functions
assigned to Executive Committees?
A. The Central and State Executive
Committees - at central and state levels respectively
- must carry out the decisions of the Central Coordination
committee and perform other functions which may be delegated
to it by the coordination Committee.
What can I do?
Q.What must a disabled person
do to enforce the rights created under the Disabilities
- Make representations to
the concerned government and/or the concerned establishment,
if there is deprivation or violation of any right
provided under the Disabilities Act
- If there is no response
or if the response is negative/inadequate, approach
the concerned Commissioner of Disabilities
- Alternatively, file a Writ
Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of
India, in the concerned High Court
- If there is any violation
of a Constitutional right also, of national importance,
file Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution,
before the Supreme Court
Q. What can be done against
violations of the rights under the Disabilities Act,
that affect an entire group of disabled persons?
A. In such cases, a disabled person
or a group of disabled individuals or even a concerned
NGO or any organisation working for disabled persons,
may, on behalf of the affected group or class, initiate
Public Interest Litigations (PILs) in the High Court
or, where it also amounts to violation of Constitutional
rights or national importance, in the Supreme Court.
For instance, PILs may be initiated on issues regarding
education and/or employment of disabled persons, use
and access in public transport system, civic amenities,
public buildings, or the like, which affect and benefit
more than one disabled person.
STATE POLICY FOR WELFARE OF DISABLED (DOWNLOAD)
NATIONS CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF PERSONS
WITH DISABILITIES 2008 (DOWNLOAD)