Disability in India
This topic describes disability as per the existing legal provisions in India.
According to The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
"Person with disability" means a person with long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which, in interaction with barriers, hinders his full and effective participation in society equally with others.
"Person with benchmark disability" means a person with not less than forty per cent. of a specified disability where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority.
The 21 disabilities covered are as follows.
I. Physical disability
- Locomotor disability - (a person's inability to execute distinctive activities associated with movement of self and objects resulting from affliction of musculoskeletal or nervous system or both), including
- "leprosy cured person" means a person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from
- loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity;
- manifest deformity and paresis but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity
- extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevents him/her from undertaking any gainful occupation, and the expression "leprosy cured" shall construed accordingly;
- "cerebral palsy" means a Group of non-progressive neurological condition affecting body movements and muscle coordination, caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring before, during or shortly after birth
- "Dwarfism" means a medical or genetic condition resulting in an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less
- "Muscular dystrophy" means a group of hereditary genetic muscle disease that weakens the muscles that move the human body and persons with multiple dystrophy have incorrect and missing information in their genes, which prevents them from making the proteins they need for healthy muscles. It is characterised by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue.
- "Acid attack victims" means a person disfigured due to violent assaults by throwing of acid or similar corrosive substance.
- "Blindness" means a condition where a person has any of the following conditions, after best correction
- total absence of sight; or
- visual acuity less than 3/60 or less than 10/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with best possible correction; or
- limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of less than 10 degree.
- "Low-vision" means a condition where a person has any of the following conditions, namely:
- Visual acuity not exceeding 6/18 or less than 20/60 upto 3/60 or upto 10/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with best possible corrections; or
- limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of less than 40 degree up to 10 degree.
- "Deaf" means persons having 70 DB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears;
- "Hard of hearing" means person having 60 DB to 70 DB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears;
II. Intellectual Disability- a condition characterised by significant limitation both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behaviour which covers a range of every day, social and practical skills, including.
- "Specific learning disabilities" means a heterogeneous group of conditions wherein there is a deficit in processing language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself as a difficulty to comprehend, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations and includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and developmental aphasia;
- "Autism spectrum disorder" means a neuro-developmental condition typically appearing in the first three years of life that significantly affects a person's ability to communicate, understand relationships and relate to others, and is frequently associated with unusal or stereotypical rituals or behaviours.
III. Mental behaviour - "Mental illness" means a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, but does not include retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence.
IV. Disability caused due to
- Chronic neurological conditions, such as
- "Multiple sclerosis" means an inflammatory, nervous system disease in which the myelin sheaths around the axons of nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and affecting the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other;
- "Parkinson's disease" means a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
- Blood disorder
- "Haemophilia" means an inheritable disease, usually affecting only male but transmitted by women to their male children, characterised by loss or impairment of the normal clotting ability of blood so that a minor would may result in fatal bleeding;
- "Thalassemia" means a group of inherited disorders characterised by reduced or absent amounts of haemoglobin.
- "Sickle cell disease" means a hemolytic disorder characterised by chronic anemia, painful events, and various complications due to associated tissue and organ damage; "hemolytic" refers to the destruction of the cell membrane of red blood cells resulting in the release of hemoglobin.
V. Multiple Disabilities
More than one of the above specified disabilities) including deaf blindness which means a condition in which a person may have combination of hearing and visual impairments causing severe communication, developmental, and educational problems.
VI. Any other category as may be notified by the Central Government
According to Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995
- Low vision;
- Hearing impairment;
- Locomotor disability;
- Mental Retardation;
- Mental illness;
“Blindness" refers to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions, namely:-
- Total absence of sight. or
- Visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with correcting lenses; or
- Limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse.
"Leprosy cured person" means any person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from-
- Loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity;
- Manifest deformity and paresis; but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity;
- Extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevent him from undertaking any gainful occupation, and the expression "leprosy cured" shall be construed accordingly.
"Hearing impairment" means loss of sixty decibels or more in the better year in the conversational range of' frequencies.
"Locomotor disability" means disability of the bones, joints muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy.
"Cerebral palsy" means a group of non-progressive conditions of a person characterized by abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre-natal, peri-natal or infant period of development.
"Mental retardation" means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterized by sub normality of intelligence.
"Mental illness" means any mental disorder other than mental retardation.
According to National trust for the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities Act, 1999
"Autism” means a condition of uneven skill development primarily affecting the communication and social abilities of a person, marked by repetitive and ritualistic behaviour.
"Cerebral Palsy" means a group of non-progressive conditions of a person characterized by abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre-natal, perinatal or infant period of development.
"Mental Retardation" means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of person which is specially characterised by sub-normality of intelligence.
“Multiple Disabilities" means a combination of two or more disabilities as defined in clause (i) of section 2 of the Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
Source : Punarbhava