The Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995, simplified

14th May 2016
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The government of India has put in place an Act for the disabled to make sure the disabled also form an important part of nation building. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 came into force on February 7, 1996. It is a significant step which ensures equal opportunities for the people with disabilities. The Act provides for both the preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation like education, employment and vocational training, reservation, research and manpower development, creation of barrier- free environment, rehabilitation of persons with disability, unemployment allowance for the disabled, special insurance scheme for the disabled employees and establishment of homes for persons with severe disability etc.

Image: (L-R) Labour Law Kerala ; ESPN
Image: (L-R) Labour Law Kerala; ESPN

The main provisions of the Act are:

Prevention and early detection of disabilities

  • Surveys, investigations and research shall be conducted to ascertain the cause of occurrence of disabilities
  • Various measures shall be taken to prevent disabilities. Staff at the Primary Health Centre shall be trained to assist in this work
  • All the Children shall be screened once in a year for identifying ‘at-risk’ cases
  • Awareness campaigns shall be launched and sponsored to disseminate information
  • Measures shall be taken for pre-natal, peri natal, and post-natal care of the mother and child


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Education

  • Every child with disability shall have the rights to free education till the age of 18 years in integrated schools or special schools
  • Appropriate transportation, removal of architectural barriers and restructuring of modifications in the examination system shall be ensured for the benefit of children with disabilities
  • Children with disabilities shall have the right to free books, scholarships, uniform and other learning material
  • Special Schools for children with disabilities shall be equipped with vocational training facilities
  • Non-formal education shall be promoted for children with disabilities
  • Teachers’ Training Institutions shall be established to develop requisite manpower
  • Parents may move to an appropriate forum for the redressal of grievances regarding the placement of their children with disabilities

Employment

3% of vacancies in government employment shall be reserved for people with disabilities, 1% each for the persons suffering from:

  • Blindness or Low Vision
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Locomotor Disabilities & Cerebral Palsy
  • Suitable Scheme shall be formulated for
  • The training and welfare of persons with disabilities
  • The relaxation of upper age limit
  • Regulating the employment
  • Health and Safety measures and creation of a non- handicapping, environment in places where persons with disabilities are employed

Government Educational Institutes and other Educational Institutes receiving grant from Government shall reserve at least 3% seats for people with disabilities.

No employee can be sacked or demoted if they become disabled during service, although they can be moved to another post with the same pay and condition. No promotion can be denied because of impairment.

Affirmative Action

Aids and Appliances shall be made available to the people with disabilities.

Allotment of land shall be made at concessional rates to the people with disabilities for:

  • House
  • Business
  • Special Recreational Centres
  • Special Schools
  • Research Schools
  • Factories by Entrepreneurs with Disability

Non-Discrimination

  • Public building, rail compartments, buses, ships and air-crafts will be designed to give easy access to the disabled people
  • In all public places and in waiting rooms, the toilets shall be wheel chair accessible. Braille and sound symbols are also to be provided in all elevators (lifts)
  • All the places of public utility shall be made barrier- free by providing the ramps

Research and Manpower Development

  • Research in the following areas shall be sponsored and promoted
  • Prevention of Disability
  • Rehabilitation including community based rehabilitation
  • Development of Assistive Devices
  • Job Identification
  • On site Modifications of Offices and Factories
  • Financial assistance shall be made available to the universities, other institutions of higher learning, professional bodies and non-government research- units or institutions, for undertaking research for special education, rehabilitation and manpower development

Social Security

  • Financial assistance to non-government organizations for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities
  • Insurance coverage for the benefit of the government employees with disabilities.
  • Unemployment allowance to the people with disabilities who are registered with the special employment exchange for more than a year and could not find any gainful occupation

Grievance Redressal

  • In case of violation of the rights as prescribed in this act, people with disabilities may move an application to the
  • Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in the Centre, or
  • Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in the State

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