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National Policy for Persons with Disabilities

Principal Areas of Intervention

Prevention, Early Detection and Intervention - In order to ensure prevention and early detection of disabilities, the following action will be taken:

   1. National, regional and local programmes of immunization (for children as well as expectant mothers), public health and sanitation will be expanded.

   2. Medical and para-medical personnel will be adequately trained and equipped for early detection of disability amongst children.

   3. Training modules and facilities in disability prevention, early detection and intervention will be developed for medical and para medical health functionaries and Anganwadi workers.

   4. Training programmes of postgraduate, undergraduate degree and diploma in medical education will include modules on disability prevention, early detection and interventions.

   5. Disability specific manuals for families having persons with disabilities will also be developed and provided free of cost.

   6. Human resource development institutions will ensure that the personnel needed to provide support services such as special education, clinical psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, audiology, speech pathology, vocational counseling & training and social work are available in adequate numbers.

   7. The latest research findings in the field of genetics will be utilized appropriately to minimize congenital disability including mental illness.

   8. Appropriate plan of action for limiting effects of disability and prevention of secondary disabilities within the existing health delivery system will be evolved.

   9. Attention will be paid towards improving awareness of nutrition, health care and sanitation amongst adolescent girls, expectant mothers and women in the reproductive period. Awareness programmes for prevention will be built in at the school level and at the level of teacher#$#s training courses.

  10. Programmes will be undertaken for screening of children to identify at risk cases.

Programmes of Rehabilitation

Medical, educational and social rehabilitation programmes will be developed with the assistance of medical and rehabilitation professionals and with the participation of persons with disabilities and their families, legal guardians and communities. Convergence of Government programmes will be ensured and the following specific measures will be taken:

   1. State level centres for providing composite rehabilitation services including human resource development, research and long term specialized rehabilitation will be set up.

  2.  Community based Rehabilitation programmes shall be encouraged. Self help groups of persons with disabilities and their family members/ caregivers shall be effectively involved in the process of rehabilitation.

   3. Setting up of mental health care homes for severely mental ill persons will be encouraged under district level Panchayati Raj institution with the involvement of NGOs. Alternatively, family support groups will be encouraged to setup Custodial Care Institutions for persons with mental disabilities without community and / or family support.

   4. Measures will also be taken to setup residential rehabilitation centres for providing vocational and social skills training for persons with mental disabilities.

Human Resource Development - The manpower will be developed in the following areas -

  • Training of primary level workers both in health care and in community development comprising of Anganwadi workers, Auxiliary Nurses (Midwifes) etc.
  • Support for training and orientation of personnel of Government and NGOs providing services.
  • Training and sensitization of community decision makers such as members of Panchayats, head of families etc.
  • Training and orientation of family members as caregivers.

Human resources will be trained to meet the requirement of education for children with disabilities under inclusive education, special education, home-based education, pre-school education etc, The following training programmes of different specialization and levels shall be developed:

   1.   Training modules for teachers for inclusive education.
   2.  Diploma, degree and high level programmes in special education
  3.  Training of caregivers for home-based education and care services for disabled adults/ senior citizens etc.

      Rehabilitation Council of India shall be the nodal agency for preparation of plans for training of rehabilitation personnel. The role of the National Institutes in disability specific training will be clearly spelt out and a five-year Plan of Action will be drawn up.

  • Education of Persons with Disabilities

          It will be ensured that every child with disability has access to appropriate pre-school, primary and secondary level education by 2020. Special care will be taken to -

   1. Make schools (building, approaches, toilets, playgrounds, laboratories, libraries etc.) barrier free and accessible for all types of disability.

   2. Medium and method of teaching will be suitably adapted to the requirements of most disability conditions.

   3. Technical/ supplementary/ specialized system of teaching/learning will be made available within the school or at a common center easily accessible to a cluster of schools.

   4. Teaching/learning tools and aids such as educational toys, Braille/talking books, appropriate software etc. will be made available. Incentives will be given to expand facilities for setting up of general libraries, e-libraries, Braille-libraries and talking books libraries, resource rooms etc.

   5. National Open School and distance learning programmes will be popularized and extended to other parts in the country.

   6. Sign language, Alternative and Augmentative Communications (AAC) and other modes as a viable medium in inter personal communication will be recognized, standardized and popularized.

  7. Schools will be located within easy traveling distance. Alternatively, viable travel arrangements will be made with the assistance of the community, State and NGOs.

   8. Parent-Teacher counseling and grievance redressal system will be set up in the schools.

   9. There will be separate mechanism to review annually the intake and retention of the girl child with disability at primary, secondary and higher levels of education.

  10. Many children with disabilities, who cannot join inclusive education system, would continue to get educational services from special schools. Special schools shall be appropriately re-modeled and re-oriented based on technological development. These schools will also help prepare children with disabilities to join mainstream inclusive education.

  11. In some cases due to the nature of disability (its type and degree), personal circumstances and preferences, home-based education will be provided.

  12. Course curriculum and evaluation system for children with various disabilities shall be developed keeping in view their capabilities. Examination system will be modified to make it disabled friendly by exemptions such as learning mathematics, learning only one language, etc. Further, facilities like extra time, use of calculators, use of Clarke#$#s tables, scribes etc would be provided based on the requirement.

  13. Model Schools of Inclusive Education will be set up in each State/ U.T to promote education of persons with disabilities.

  14. In the era of knowledge society, computers play very important role. Efforts will be made so that every child with disability gets suitably exposed to the use of computers.

  15. Children with disabilities upto the age of 6 years will be identified and necessary interventions made so that they are capable of joining inclusive education.

  16. Educational facilities will be provided in psychosocial rehabilitation centres for mentally ill persons.

 17. Many schools discourage enrollment of students on account of their disability due to lack of awareness about the capabilities of disabled persons. Programmes will be taken for sensitization of teachers, principals and other staff members in all schools.

  18. Special Schools presently being supported by the Ministry of Social Justice & empowerment will incrementally become resource centres for inclusive education. Ministry of Human Resource Development shall open new special schools depending upon the requirement.

  19. Adult learning/ leisure centers for adults with severe learning difficulties will be promoted.

  20. Three percent reservation for persons with disabilities in admission to higher educational institutions shall be enforced. Universities, colleges and professional institutions will be provided financial support to establish Disability Center to take care of educational needs of students with disabilities. They will also be encouraged to make classrooms, hostels, cafeterias and other facilities in the campus accessible to students with disabilities.

  21. Include a module in induction and in-service training programmes of teachers on issues relating to management of children with disabilities

The Ministry of Human Resource Development will be the nodal Ministry to coordinate all matters relating to the education of persons with disabilities.

Employment - The following steps will be taken for employment of persons with disabilities:

   1. The government shall initiate a dialogue with private sector organizations to help persons with disabilities in getting employment.

   2. Develop appropriate home-based income generation programmes for the persons with disabilities especially for persons with severe and multiple disabilities, who opt for such programmes. The system of coaching for employment will also be encouraged for persons with disabilities and their caregivers.

   3. Facilitate modifications in the design of machinery, workstation and work environment necessary for the disabled persons to operate without barriers in training centres/ factories/ industry/ offices etc.

   4. Provide assistance through appropriate agencies like Marketing Boards, District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs), private agencies and Non Governmental Organizations in marketing of goods and services produced by persons with disabilities.

   5. Coverage of persons with disabilities in poverty alleviation programmes will be improved so that they get their due share of 3 percent as provided under statutory provisions.

Barrier-free Environment - For creation of barrier-free environment, the following strategies will be adopted:

   1. Public buildings (functional or recreational), transport amenities including roads, sub-ways and pavements, railway platforms, bus stops/ terminals, ports, airports, modes of transports (bus, train, plane and waterways), playgrounds, open space etc. will be made accessible.

   2. Use of sign language in all public functions will be encouraged.

   3. Modification of Curriculum of Architects and Civil engineers will be undertaken to include issues relating to construction of barrier-free buildings. In service training will be provided on these issues to the government architects and engineers.

   4. Full adoption of comprehensive building byelaws and space standards for barrier-free built environment shall be ensured. Effort will be made to ensure adoption of the byelaws and space standards by all the states, municipal bodies and Panchayati Raj institutions in the country. These authorities will ensure that all newly constructed buildings for public use are barrier-free.

   5. State Transport Undertakings will ensure disabled friendly features in their vehicles. Railways will provide barrier-free coaches in a phased manner. They will also make the platforms-buildings, toilets and other facilities barrier-free.

   6. The Government will ensure that Industrial establishments, offices, public utilities both in public and private sector provide disabled friendly work place for their employees. Safety standards will be developed and strictly enforced.

   7. Proactive steps will be taken to ensure disability-friendly IT environment in the country.

   8. All the buildings, which are for public use, will be audited for its accessibility to persons with disability. There may be a need to develop professionally recognized access auditors whose services would be utilized for the purpose.

   9. Banking system will be encouraged to meet the needs to the persons with disabilities.

  10. Communication needs of the persons with disabilities will be met by making information service and public documents accessible. Braille, tape-service, large print and other appropriate technologies will be used to provide information for the persons with visual disability.

Social Protection - The following steps will be taken to provide adequate Social Security to the persons with disabilities:

   1. A system of regular review of the policies of tax relief granted to the persons with disabilities will be put in place so that necessary income tax and other tax relief remain available to persons with disabilities.

   2. State Governments and UT Administrations will be encouraged to rationalize the amount of pension and unemployment allowance for persons with disabilities.

   3. Life Insurance Corporation of India has been providing insurance cover to persons with specific type of disabilities. There is a need to encourage all insurance agencies to cover persons with disabilities without exception.

Research

Research for developing new technologies for persons with disabilities will be encouraged with international cooperation, wherever necessary. Results of research will be widely disseminated. It will be focused on the following aspects:

   1. Socio-cultural aspects of disability, which inter alia include study of social attitude and behavioral patterns towards persons with disabilities.

   2. Develop social indicators relating to the education of persons with disabilities so as to analyze the problems involved and take up programmes to improve access and opportunities

   3. Generate statistics about the employment status of persons by type of disability especially for those who become disabled due to accidents and other disasters.

   4. Study causes of different types and level of incidence of disabilities

   5. Genetic research to minimize incidence of disability under the aegis of Indian Council of Medical Research

   6. Adaptive technology research focusing on enhanced personal mobility, verbal/non-verbal communication, design changes in articles of every day usage etc. with a view to develop cost effective, user-friendly and durable aids & appliances with the help of premier technological institutes. Ministry of Science & Technology shall set up Rehabilitation Technology Centre for coordinating and undertaking research and development, testing and certifying technologies, training etc. Appropriate hardware and software suitable for persons with disabilities to ensure access to information technologies will be developed.

   7. Sports, Recreation and Cultural activities - The following steps will be taken to ensure equal opportunities for sports, recreation and cultural activities:

   1. Make places for recreation, cultural activities and sports, hotels, beaches, sports arenas, auditoriums, gym halls, etc. accessible.

   2. Travel agencies, hotels, voluntary organizations and others involved in organizing recreational activities or travel opportunities should offer their services to all, taking into account the special needs of persons with disabilities.

   3. Identification of talent amongst persons with disabilities in different sports shall be made with the assistance of local NGOs.

   4. Formation of Sports organizations and Cultural societies for persons with disabilities will be encouraged. There will be mechanism to support the participation of persons with disabilities in national and international events.

   5. A national award for excellence in sports for persons with disabilities shall be instituted.

Responsibility for Implementation

   1. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment will be the nodal Ministry to coordinate all matters relating to the implementation of the Policy.

   2. An inter-ministerial body to coordinate matters relating to implementation of National Policy will be formed. All stakeholders including prominent NGOs, Disabled Peoples Organizations, advocacy groups and family associations of parents/ guardians, experts and professionals will also be represented on this body. Similar arrangements will be encouraged at the State and Districts levels. Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies will be associated in the functioning of the District Disability Rehabilitation Centres, District Level Committees to coordinate the matters relating to the implementation of the policy.

   3. The Ministries of Home Affairs, Health & Family Welfare, Rural Development, Urban Development, Youth Affairs & Sports, Railways, Science & Technology, Statistics & Programme Implementation, Labour, Panchayati Raj and Departments of Elementary Education & Literacy, Secondary & Higher Education, Road Transport & Highways, Public Enterprises, Revenue, Women & Child Development, Information Technology and Personnel & Training will setup necessary mechanism for implementation of the policy. A five-year perspective Plan and annual plans setting targets and financial allocations will be prepared by each Ministry/ Department. The annual report of these Ministries/ Departments will indicate progress achieved during the year.

   4. The Chief Commissioner for Disabilities at Central level and State Commissioners at the State level shall play key role in implementation of National Policy, apart from their statutory responsibilities.

   5. Panchayati Raj Institutions will play a crucial role in the implementation of the National Policy to address local level issues and draw up suitable programmes, which will be integrated with the district and State plans. These institutions will include disability related components in their projects.

   6. Infrastructure created during the course of implementation will be required to be maintained and effectively used for a long period. The community should take a leading role in generating resources with in themselves or through mobilization from private sector organizations to maintain the infrastructure and also to meet the running cost. This step will not only reduce the burden on state resources but will also create a greater sense of responsibility among the community and private entrepreneurs.

   7. Every five years a comprehensive review will be done on the implementation of the National Policy. A document indicating status of implementation and a roadmap for five years shall be prepared based on the deliberations in a national level convention. State Governments and Union Territory administrations will be urged to take steps for drawing up State Policy and develop action plan.

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