Disability Act

This Article on “The Disability Act 2014-Overview And Analysis” is written by Ishita Mehta.

The Disability Act 2014 replaces the Person with disability act 1995.

In this article we will read about the key highlight points and overview of the Disability Act 1995 and the Disability Act 2014 and hold a comparison between them.

In the Disability Act 1995, it had seven disabilities specified in the act. In the earlier act of 1995, it defines disability as-

  •  Blindness,
  •  Low vision,
  •  Leprosy-cured,
  •  Hearing impairment,
  •  Loco-motor disability,
  •  Mental retardation, and
  •  Mental illness.

The Disability Act 1995 had two central committees and the two state committees. The central committees are further divided into- coordinated committee and the executive committee .

These committees are obligated for insuring the rights of the Person with disability and also bringing out the changes that needs to be made with regards to the rights of the person with disability( PWD).

The executive committees are responsible for carrying out the decisions that the larger committee made.

Key Highlights Of The Disability Act 1995

The agenda of the person with disability act 1995 is to prevent the disabilities formulated. The main aim is to determine the risk factor that leads to disability.

The main question is what did the government do to determine the risk?

  • The Government run screening process every year for all the children to determine the risk process. They also want to take measures to reduced risk of prenatal and postnatal mothers and the child.
  • Children with disabilities are provided free education by the government.
  • The government also wants to take steps to integrate children with disabilities into regular schools and with it, also make space for special schools that cater and look into the needs of these children.
  • The government is also required to make non-formal education programmes for children with disabilities that help attain literacy, rejoin school, impart vocational training, and provide them with free books and educational material. The children with disabilities needs special teachers to educate them and train them.
  • The government is also setting up schemes that provide children with disabilities grant, scholarships and provides them with funds.
  • Children who are visually challenged has no one to write for them, so thus the  educational institutions are  required to provide visually challenged students with aids who will write for them.
  • There always have been some kind of discrimination against person with disability. The government  needs to ensure that these people live in the atmosphere where they are not discriminated.
  • There are braille signs and auditory signals for the PWD at railways, buses,signals, in the metro and whatever a normal person uses in his day to day life. It also highlighted in the act and is one of the the main features of the act, that in any government or non government offices there should not be any discrimination done based on employment opportunities.
  • All the institution should be registered by the government which aid these  person with disabilities.
  • There is a chief commissioner appointed to hear about the complaints regarding the breach of rights of the person with disability.

This act was enforced 20 years ago. Since then, there has been a drastic change in understanding the people with disabilities. There has been new technology which ensures the protection of rights of the person with disability.

In relation to the UNCRPD (United nations convention on right of person with disability), the government found the need to make a proper right based act for people with disability to give them equality and remove the social stigma that they don’t have any right to enjoy their lives.

The Disability Bill 2014

The new bill was passed in the year 2014 which expanded the definition of disability to cover 19 conditions. It covers the whole of spectrum starting from the physical disability to the mental illness and the health care.

The new amendments were made when the winter session of 2016 started and it was made because the bill did not comply with the United nations convention on right of person with disability .

Key Highlights Of The Disability Act 2014

So now, the definition of the disability covers not seven conditions but, it covers up to 21 conditions in total, which also includes acid attack and Parkinson’s disease.

As the first seven disabilities were pointed out earlier, the other 14 disabilities are listed below-

  1. Cerebral Palsy
  2. Dwarfism
  3. Parkinson’s disease
  4. Acid attack
  5. Autism spectrum disorder
  6. Muscular dystrophy
  7. Chronic neurological conditions
  8. Specific learning disabilities
  9. Multiple sclerosis
  10. Speech and language disability
  11. Thalassemia
  12. Hemophilia
  13. Sickle cell disease
  14.  Multiple disability including deaf blindness

(There has been a separate class of specified disability which includes dwarfism and muscular dystrophy and  thalassemia, hemophilia and sickle cell disease that comes under the category of blood disorders).

➔      The bill also regulated reservation for the people with disability up to 40%. The reservation is mostly in employment area and education area.

➔      The bill says that the children within the age group of 6-18 years with benchmark disability should get access to free education.

➔      Friendly access to all the public areas should be granted.

➔      For the people who have benchmark disabilities, the reservation has been added up from 3% to 4% in the government occupation. As in the year 1995, the law had only 3% of reservation for disabled in higher education and jobs (1% was for physical hearing) but, the Disability Act 2014 extended it to 5% including 1% as mental illness .

➔       The new amendment includes the private firms in the definition of “establishments” unlike in the act of 1995, where it was only limited to the government bodies. Now, all these establishments will have to make it a point that every disabled person should get free access to public infrastructure and they’re not discriminated due to their disabilities.

➔      The new bill has mended the ways in favor of the disabled people by making them possess equal rights to manage their own finance and inherit movable or immovable properties and also provide guardianship if the disabled person is not able to handle himself or herself. And, in case the person is mentally ill, there are two types of guardianship-

First one is the limited guardianship which involves the viewpoint of mentally ill person too and take decisions together, and

The 2nd one is plenary guardianship. This type takes decision on behalf of mentally ill person as they are not in the state of mind to make any rational decisions.

➔      In the Disability act 1995, there was no provision of penalty of punishment but, the Disability Act 2014 has added that if any violation of any provision in the bill takes place then the person is punishable with the imprisonment of up to 6 months or fine of Rs 10,000/-

And, if there are any higher violations, the penalty will be added up to 2 years of imprisonment and fine starting from Rs 50,000/-, but, the amended bill proposes that there should not be any jail term and only fine should be collected if any discrimination is done or the law is broken.

Must Read: Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Concerns Regarding The Disability Act 2014

The Disability bill 2014 was drafted again to ensure social justice and empowerment to everyone regardless of any disability. The central government can notify if within his knowledge there is any other condition structured as disability.

The bill sets the legislature a two-year due date to guarantee people with incapacity get free access in a wide range of physical foundation and transport system.

While incapacity rights activists have respected the changes, they are concerned about the section in which permitting discrimination against an impaired individual if it is for achieving a legitimate aim.

The bill also asks for some concerns with regards to termination of pregnancy as, it is inconsistent in relation to this issue. The government is also planning to launch unique disability identification card ( UDID)

This bill seeks to prevail to improve overall condition of the country.

Conclusion

Incapacity essentially implies a failure or a deficiency in some regard. This can be visual inability, incapacity of listening, physically handicap, mental inability and so forth.

  • Tragically, as of now in India, disabled people were considered as “inferior” to other purported ordinary individuals.
  • People have enjoyed not aiding and watching over such individuals and doing activities which are  inhumane and corrupt.
  • Individuals even appreciated making joke and notwithstanding exploiting such people.
  • Incapacitated people were considered as a particular class and couldn’t blend with others. Such a climate compounded the situation of impaired people and brought about further rise in frustration and mental agony.

This bill amendment can be a powerful way in enhancing the quality of life and ensuring equality to everyone regardless of any disability .

What’s Disability in your point of view? Is it a Sin or a sign of disregard? Is it a doorway towards an extraordinary wisdom? What do you think?

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