The Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995-FAQs
1. What are the benefits of the PWD Act? How is it useful to me?
The Act ensures that every child with disabilities has access to free education till 18 years of age into regular schools, provision of free of cost special books and equipment required for education.
At least 3 % of vacancies in every government establishment are to be reserved for persons with disabilities - out of which 1 per cent reservation for persons having blindness or low vision.
Also, it aims to provide disabled friendly public spaces such as provision of ramps in public buildings, provision of Braille symbols and auditory signals in elevators or lifts and so on.
2. What does the PWD Act say about employment?
The government has reserved posts for Persons with Disabilities. At least 3 % of vacancies in every government establishment are reserved for persons with disabilities. Out of which 1 per cent is reserved for persons having blindness or low vision, provided that a Person with Disability is able to engage in that particular nature of work.
If a vacancy cannot be filled up due to non-availability of a suitable candidate with disability, the vacancy is carried forward to the next recruitment year and if in that next recruitment year too, a suitable person with disability is not found, the post is filled by an interchange of categories of Persons with Disabilities. If there is no suitable Person with Disability available for the job, then an able bodied person is employed.
No employee can be fired or demoted if they acquire disability during service, although they can be moved to another post with the same pay and condition. No promotion can be denied because of impairment.
5. What is the PWD Act all about?
The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” had come into enforcement on February 7, 1996. It is a significant step which ensures equal opportunities for the people with disabilities and their full participation in the nation building.
The Act provides for both the preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation and emancipation like education, employment and vocational training, reservation, research and manpower development, creation of barrier- free environment, rehabilitation of persons with disability, unemployment allowance for the disabled, special insurance scheme for the disabled employees and establishment of homes for persons with severe disabilities etc. Strategies for early detection and prevention of disabilities have also been enumerated in the Act.
Main Provisions of the Act include:
- Prevention and Early Detection of Disabilities
- Research and Manpower Development
- Affirmative Action
- Social Security
6. What should a Person with Disability do in case of discrimination or violation of his/her rights?
In case of any discrimination or violation of the rights as prescribed in this act, people with disabilities can move an application to the office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in the Centre, or to the office of State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities at the state level.
7. What does the PWD Act say about accessibility?
The Act talks about social security:
- Financial assistance to non-government organizations for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
- Insurance coverage for the benefit of the government employees with disabilities.
- Unemployment allowance to the people with disabilities who are registered with the special employment exchange for more than a year and could not find any gainful occupation
Certain points on discrimination include:
- Public building, rail compartments, buses, ships and air-crafts will be designed to give easy access to the disabled people.
- In all public places and in waiting rooms, the toilets shall be wheel chair accessible. Braille and sound symbols are also to be provided in all elevators (lifts).
All the places of public utility shall be made barrier- free by providing the ramps.
8. What does the Act say about education?
Answer: 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 modifications in the examination system shall be ensured for the benefit of children with disabilities including visual impairment/ blindness.
Children with disabilities shall have the right to free books, scholarships, uniform and other learning material.
Special Schools for children with disabilities shall be equipped with vocational training facilities.
Non-formal education shall be promoted for children with disabilities.
Teachers’ Training Institutions shall be established to develop requisite manpower.
Parents may move to an appropriate forum for the redressal of grievances regarding the placement of their children with disabilities.