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(No. 49 OF 2016)

The Act replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full participation) Act, 1995.

Specified Disabilities

The disabilities specified in the Act are listed as under:
(Section 2.zc of the Act read with the schedule)

1. Blindness
2. Low Vision
3. Leprosy Cured Persons
4. Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
5. Locomotor Disability
6. Dwarfism
7. Intellectual Disability
8. Mental Illness
9. Autism Spectrum Disorder
10. Cerebral Palsy
11. Muscular Dystrophy
12. Chronic Neurological Conditions
13. Specific Learning Disabilities
14. Multiple Sclerosis
15. Speech and Language Disability
16. Thalassemia
17. Hemophilia
18. Sickle Cell Disease
19. Multiple Disabilities including Deafness and Blindness
20. Acid Attack Victim
21. Parkinson’s Disease


Person with benchmark disability are those with at least 40 per cent of any of the specified disabilities. (2.r)Rights and Entitlements of Persons with Disabilities


1. Right to equality, life with dignity and respect, equally with others. (3.1)
2. No discrimination on account of disability. (3.3)
3. No deprivation of personal liberty on account of disability. (3.4)
4. Reasonable accommodation (3.5)
5. Right to live in the community (5.1)
6. No compulsion to live in a particular living arrangement (5.2.a)
7. Right to a range of in-house, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living with regard to age and gender. (5.2.b)
8. Protection from torture, cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment (6.1)
9. Protection from abuse, violence, and exploitation (7.1)
10. Protection and safety in situation of risk, armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters (8.1)
11. No separation of a child from his or her parents on the grounds of disability except by way of a court order issued in the interest of the child (9.1)
12. No medical procedure to cause infertility without the informed and free consent (10.2)
13. Accessibility to polling stations (11)
14. Right to access any court, tribunal, authority, commission or any other body having judicial or quasi-judicial or investigative powers without discrimination on the basis of disability. (12.1)
15. Right, equally with others, to own and inherit property, control financial affairs and access to financial credit (13.1)
16. Right to alter, modify or dismantle any support arrangement prospectively and seek the support of another (13.4)
17. Right to employment including promotion in a government establishment without any discrimination (20)



Where a district court is satisfied that a person with disability is unable to take legally binding decisions, it may provide the support of a limited guardian to take legally binding decisions on his/her behalf in consultation with the concerned person with disability.


The district court may grant total support (plenary guardianship) in special circumstances or where the limited guardianship is granted repeatedly (14.1)



Inclusive education :

The Government shall endeavor to provide inclusive education to the children with disability at all educational institutions funded or recognized by the government and the local authorities. (16)


Adult Education:

The Government and the local authorities shall take measures to promote, protect and ensure participation of persons with disabilities in adult education and continuing education programmes equally with others. (18)


Vocational Training and Self-employment:

The government shall formulate schemes and programmes including provision for loans at concessional rates to facilitate and support employment, including self-employment, of persons with disabilities. (19.1)


Non-discrimination in Employment:

No Government establishment shall discriminate against any person with disability in any matter relating to employment. (20.1)


No promotion shall be denied to a person merely on the ground of disability. (20.3)
(4) No Government establishment shall dispense with or reduce in rank, an employee who acquires a disability during his or her service. (20.4)


Social Security

The government shall formulate schemes and programmes to safeguard and promote adequate standard of living to enable persons with disability to live independently or in the community. (24.1)


The government schemes shall provide for community centres with good living conditions in terms of safety, sanitation, health care and counselling. (24.3.a)


For persons with disability and low income, schemes shall be made providing for free of cost aids and appliances, medicines, diagnostic services, and corrective surgery. (24.3.f)


Persons with disability shall get Disability Pension with appropriate ceiling. (24.3.g)


Unemployment Allowance shall be given to those registered with Special Employment Exchange for more than two years without any gainful employment (24.3.h)


Caregiver Allowance shall be given to persons with disability needing high support (25.3.i)
A Comprehensive Insurance Scheme shall be introduced for persons with disabilities, not covered under any statutory pension scheme. (25.3.j)


Free Health Care shall be provided in the vicinity especially in rural areas to persons with disabilities with limited income as specified. (25.1.a)


Barrier-free Access shall be given in all government and private hospitals and other healthcare institutions and centres. (25.1.b) Priority in treatment shall be extended to persons with disabilities. (25.1.c)


The Government and the local authorities shall make schemes or programmes to promote healthcare and prevent the occurrence of disabilities (25.2)


Insurance Schemes shall be formulated for government employees with disabilities (26)


The Government and the local authorities shall undertake services and programmes of rehabilitation, particularly in the areas of health, education and employment for all persons with disabilities. (27.1)


Free Education shall be provided to every child between the age group of 6 and 18 years, living with benchmark disability in a neighbourhood school or in a special school of his/her choice. (31.1)


Higher Education: All government institutions of higher education and those getting aid from the government will be required to reserve at least five percent of seats for persons with benchmark disabilities. (32.1)


Age Relaxation: The persons with benchmark disabilities shall get an upper age relaxation of five years for admission in institution of higher education. (32.2)


Job Reservation: In every Government establishment, not less than four percent of the total number of vacancies in the cadre strength in each group of posts shall be filled by persons with benchmark disabilities, of which one per cent shall be reserved for persons with autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness. (34.1)


Private Jobs: The Government and the local authorities may provide incentives to private employers to ensure that at least five percent of their workforce is composed of persons with benchmark disabilities. (35)


Special Schemes shall be made providing five percent reservation for persons with bench mark disabilities, in allotment of agricultural land and housing with priority to women with benchmark disabilities, in all poverty alleviation and various developmental schemes with priority to women with benchmark disabilities and in allotment of land on concessional rate, where such land is to be used for the purpose of promoting housing, shelter, setting up of occupation, business, enterprise, recreation centres and production centres. (37)


Special Provisions for Persons with Disabilities with High Support Needs: A person with disability needing high support may himself/herself or through another person/organisation apply to the notified authority for high support. Based on the assessment made by the Assessment Board, the concerned authority shall arrange for support as per the schemes and the orders of the government in this regard. (38)


Access to Transport: The Government shall provide to persons with disabilities,— (a) facilities at bus stops, railway stations and airports as per the accessibility standards relating to parking spaces, toilets, ticketing counters and ticketing machines; (b) access to all modes of transport. (41.1)


Accessibility to Establishments/Public Buildings: No establishment will be granted permission to build any structure or get a completion certification or allowed to occupy a building, if the building does not adhere to the regulations. (44.1)Personal Mobility: The Government shall develop schemes and programmes to promote the personal mobility of persons with disabilities at affordable cost. (44.2)


Making Existing Infrastructure and Premises Accessible: All existing public buildings shall be made accessible for disabled persons within five years of the formulation of the regulations. (45.1)


Registration of Institutions: No person shall establish or maintain any institution for persons with disabilities without a certificate of registration issued in this behalf by the competent authority (50)


Disability Certificate: Any person with specified disability, may apply to a certifying authority for issuing of a certificate of disability. The certifying authority shall assess the disability of the concerned person and shall, after such assessment issue a certificate of disability to such person or inform him/her in writing that he/she has no specified disability. The certificate of disability shall be valid across the country. (58)


Central & State Advisory Boards: Broad based Central and State Advisory Boards on Disability shall be set up to serve as apex policy making bodies at the Central and State level. (60 and 66)


The Chief Commissioner and the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal Agencies and also monitor implementation of the Act. (74 and 79)


District Level Committees will be constituted by the State Governments to address local concerns of persons with disabilities. Details of their constitution and the functions of such committees would be prescribed by the State Governments in the rules. (73) Special Courts shall be established in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of persons with disabilities. (84)


National and State Funds: National and State Funds will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities. (86 and 88)


–   Amrit Bakhshy

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