INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF LAWS IN THE FIELD OF DISABILITY REHABILITATION

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INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF LAWS IN THE FIELD OF DISABILITY REHABILITATION

By Mrs .Pragya Verma

1. Americans with Disability Act (ADA) (1990)
Extended civil rights similar to those of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the people with disabilities Act, “Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in: private sector employment, service rendered by state and local governments, places of public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications relay system”. Integration is the fundamental to the purpose of the ADA. Regulations state that ‘a public entity may not deny a qualified individual with a disability – the opportunity to participate in services, programmes or activities that are not separate or different, despite the existence of permissibly separate or different programmes or activities”.

2 The standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for persons with disability (1993)
The declaration clearly stated that general education authorities are responsible for the education of persons with disabilities in integrated settings. Education of persons with disabilities should form an integral part of national education planning, curriculum development and school organization.
Article -26 (Introduction) states that “the persons with disabilities should receive the support of employment and social services”.
3 The Salamanca Statement and Framework for action on Special Needs Education (1994)
The Salamanca statement states,
·  Every child has a fundamental right to education and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain acceptable level of learning.
·  Every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs.
·  Education systems should be designed and educational programmes implemented to take into account the wide diversity of these characteristics and needs.
·  Those with special educational needs must have access to regular schools which should accommodate them within child center pedagogy capable of meeting these needs.
·  Regular schools with this inclusive orientation are most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all; moreover they provide an effective education to the majority of the children and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost effectiveness of the entire education system.
·  Educational policies at all levels should stipulate that children with special needs should attend their neighborhood school that is the school that would be attended if the child did not have the disability.
·  The Salamanca Framework for action further points through its Article – 6 that “ Experience in many countries demonstrates that the integration of the children and youth with special needs is best achieve with in inclusive schools that serve all the children with in a community. It is within this context that those with special educational needs can achieve the fullest educational progress and social integration.

4 United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008)
Article 3 - General principles
The principles of the present Convention shall be:
a. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;
b.Non-discrimination;
c. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
d.Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;
e. Equality of opportunity;
f.  Accessibility;
g. Equality between men and women;
h. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with special needs and respect for the right of children with special needs to preserve their identities.
Article 5 - Equality and non-discrimination
1. States Parties recognize that all persons are equal before and under the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law. 
2. States Parties shall prohibit all discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and effective legal protection against discrimination on all grounds.
3. In order to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, States Parties shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided.
4. Specific measures which are necessary to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities shall not be considered discrimination under the terms of the present Convention.
Article 6 - Women with disabilities
1. States Parties recognize that women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination, and in this regard shall take measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the full development, advancement and empowerment of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the present Convention.
Article 7 - Children with special needs
1. States Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with special needs of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children.
2. In all actions concerning children with special needs, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
3. States Parties shall ensure that children with special needs have the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them, their views being given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity, on an equal basis with other children, and to be provided with disability and age-appropriate assistance to realize that right.


Article 9 – Accessibility
1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:
a.       Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces;
b.      Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.
2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to:
a.       Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public;
b.      Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities;
c.       Provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities;
d.      Provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;
e.       Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;
f.        Promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
g.       Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet;
h.       Promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.
Article 12 - Equal recognition before the law
1. States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law.
2. States Parties shall recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.
3. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to provide access by persons with disabilities to the support they may require in exercising their legal capacity. 
4. States Parties shall ensure that all measures that relate to the exercise of legal capacity provide for appropriate and effective safeguards to prevent abuse in accordance with international human rights law. Such safeguards shall ensure that measures relating to the exercise of legal capacity respect the rights, will and preferences of the person, are free of conflict of interest and undue influence, are proportional and tailored to the person’s circumstances, apply for the shortest time possible and are subject to regular review by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body. The safeguards shall be proportional to the degree to which such measures affect the person’s rights and interests.
5. Subject to the provisions of this article, States Parties shall take all appropriate and effective measures to ensure the equal right of persons with disabilities to own or inherit property, to control their own financial affairs and to have equal access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit, and shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not arbitrarily deprived of their property.
Article 13 - Access to justice
1. States Parties shall ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others, including through the provision of procedural and age-appropriate accommodations, in order to facilitate their effective role as direct and indirect participants, including as witnesses, in all legal proceedings, including at investigative and other preliminary stages.
2. In order to help to ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities, States Parties shall promote appropriate training for those working in the field of administration of justice, including police and prison staff.
Article 19 - Living independently and being included in the community
States Parties to this Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that:
a.       Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;
b.      Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;
c.       Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.
Article 24 - Education
1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and life long learning directed to:
a.       The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;
b.      The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;
c.       Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.
2. In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that:
a.       Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with special needs are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;
b.      Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;
c.       Reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided;
d.      Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;
e.       Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.
3. States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including:
a.       Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;
b.      Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;
c.       Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and social development.
4. In order to help ensure the realization of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.
5. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities.
Article 26 - Habilitation and rehabilitation
1. States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures, including through peer support, to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life. To that end, States Parties shall organize, strengthen and extend comprehensive habilitation and rehabilitation services and programmes, particularly in the areas of health, employment, education and social services, in such a way that these services and programmes:
a.       Begin at the earliest possible stage, and are based on the multidisciplinary assessment of individual needs and strengths;
b.      Support participation and inclusion in the community and all aspects of society, are voluntary, and are available to persons with disabilities as close as possible to their own communities, including in rural areas.
2. States Parties shall promote the development of initial and continuing training for professionals and staff working in habilitation and rehabilitation services.
3. States Parties shall promote the availability, knowledge and use of assistive devices and technologies, designed for persons with disabilities, as they relate to habilitation and rehabilitation.
Article 27 - Work and employment
1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. States Parties shall safeguard and promote the realization of the right to work, including for those who acquire a disability during the course of employment, by taking appropriate steps, including through legislation, to, inter alia:
a. Prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability with regard to all matters concerning all forms of employment, including conditions of recruitment, hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career advancement and safe and healthy working conditions;
b.Protect the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favourable conditions of work, including equal opportunities and equal remuneration for work of equal value, safe and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of grievances;
c. Ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise their labour and trade union rights on an equal basis with others;
d.Enable persons with disabilities to have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance programmes, placement services and vocational and continuing training;
e. Promote employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities in the labour market, as well as assistance in finding, obtaining, maintaining and returning to employment;
f.  Promote opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship, the development of cooperatives and starting one’s own business;
g. Employ persons with disabilities in the public sector;
h. Promote the employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector through appropriate policies and measures, which may include affirmative action programmes, incentives and other measures;
i.   Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities in the workplace;
j.  Promote the acquisition by persons with disabilities of work experience in the open labour market;
k.Promote vocational and professional rehabilitation, job retention and return-to-work programmes for persons with disabilities.
2. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not held in slavery or in servitude, and are protected, on an equal basis with others, from forced or compulsory labour.

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