By Niharika Sehgal
The people of India with disabilities like blindness or visual impairment have been provided with “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016”. Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with blindness or visual impairment disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others. Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in the allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with disabilities and those with high support needs. The bill provides the penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also the violation of the provision of the new law. Special courts will be designated in each district to handle such cases.
Further, the new law will not only enhance the rights and entitlements of Divyangjan (the disabled persons) but also provide an effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the society in a satisfactory manner. For empowerment of persons with disabilities, respect and individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choice independently, discrimination should not be there for persons with disabilities. Full and effective participation in society, equality of opportunities, respect for the evolving capacities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities needs to be supported in an inclusive environment.
Support and assistance to a person with disability is provided with alternative modes like Braille, tactile communication signs, large print, accessible multimedia, written and communication technology. The right to free legal aid, the right to file a complaint is entitled under the provision of this “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016”.
The persons with disabilities shall have equal protection & safety in a situation of risk, armed conflict, humanitarian & natural disasters. The government shall take appropriate steps to ensure that all their public documents are in an accessible format, ensure that the filing departments registry or any other office records are supplied with necessary equipment, to enable filing, storing and referring to the documents and evidence in accessible formats. The government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life and have the right to equal recognition everywhere as any other person. The government shall designate one or more authorities to mobilize the community and create social awareness to support persons with disabilities in an exercise of their legal capacity.
Making buildings, campuses and various facilities accessible, to provide reasonable accommodation according to the individual requirements. Making art accessible to persons with blindness and visual impairment and ensuring that the education to them is provided. Children with blindness or other disabilities should be provided with the transportation facility, free health care in the vicinity. Every employment exchange shall maintain records of persons with disabilities seeking employment, especially in the rural area subject to such family income as many, be notified. Promotion through various channels for preventing disabilities is needed for greater help and out reach.
This article first appeared here, https://saksham.blog/2017/06/15/legal-rights-for-visually-impaired/