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Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities) Act, 1995
The Act also entrusts the government with the task of making public life more comfortable for persons with disabilities using economic resources available. This includes construction of ramps in all public places, ensuring auditory signals at traffic lights etc. The categories of disability as defined under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Oppurtunities) Act. The categories are:
  • Blindness
  • Low vision
  • Leprosy-cured
  • Hearing impairment
  • Locomotor disabilities
  • Mental retardation
  • Mental illness

People whose disabilities fall under the above categories can avail of benefits under the Act, in education and employment. On what grounds is a person considered 'disabled' and under the Act? A person with any of the disabilities outlined above is entitled to privileges under Indian law. The individual must however, suffer at least forty percent of the disability to be eligible for these benefits. The degree of disability must be determined and certified by a medical authority.

Education

"Right to free 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 curriculum and 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, uniforms and other learning material.
  • Special School for children with disabilities shall be equipped with vocational training facilities.
  • Non-formal education shall be promoted for children with disabilities.
  • Teacher’s Training Institutions shall be established to develop requisite manpower.
  • Parents may move to appropriate fora for the redressal of grievances regarding the placement of their children with disabilities.

Employment

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

• Blindness or Low vision

• Hearing Impairment

• Locomotor Disability & Cerebral Palsy

2. Suitable schemes 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.

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

4. All poverty alleviation schemes shall reserve atleast 3% for the benefit of people with disabilities.

5. 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.