Consensus Paper

Part II: Lowering the Barriers

1. Awareness Raising

  • Awareness raising responsibilities accompanying the realization of every right
  • The generic ones will be included in this chapter
  • The particular ones will stay in the particular chapter for example there is some awareness raising work which needs to happen to realize the right to health which is best taken care of by the health establishment then it will be provided for in the chapter on the right to health. However the stereotypes on disability which may also impact on the health care rights of persons with disabilities will be provided in the awareness raising chapter. Illustratively the following awareness raising programs could be in the particular right or in the awareness raising chapter:

Home and Family

  • Create awareness to respect the decisions made by people with disability on all matters related to family life, relationships, founding a family and raising children

Right to live independently and in the community

  • Basic approach of society to be one of inclusion of everyone, including values of tolerance, respect for diversity, empathy.

Decisions required from the Committee

  • The Committee would need to consider whether this method of addressing the awareness raising obligations was appropriate?
  • Sub-groups would need to examine the awareness raising provisions formulated by them and advise the legal consultant on which of the obligations would they wish to place in the generic chapter and which obligations, if any, would they want to include in the particular chapter.

2. Accessibility

The following narration is to be read along with the chapter on Accessibility as it does not repeat the content of the chapter but only pinpoints on those questions which need to be addressed whilst incorporating this chapter in the law.

II.2 Foundational Significance of Accessibility

  • Text which acknowledges the cross cutting influence of accessibility
  • How none of the other Rights hold meaning without accessibility
  • Consequently Accessibility foundational to disability rights

[The general principles formulated by the sub group would be drawn upon along with the jurisprudence formulated by the Indian Supreme Court on fundamental rights to formulate this section of the chapter]

  • Since all accessibility needs would not be fulfilled at once necessary to bring in a prioritization
  • As a result of this discussion the sub-group has put in place a three phase plan on accessibility. The choice before the Committee on prioritization
  • To induct plan into the law with a procedure in place for modification
  • Accept the principle of prioritization and put in place a procedure by which access plans shall be formulated.

The Committee may wish to consider the suggestion of simultaneous but phased implementation which came from civil society.

Application of Accessibility Norms

  • International principles for ensuring physical, infrastructural, virtual and transportation accessibility to be customized to Indian requirements.
  • Chapter from sub-group makes a detailed and nearly exhaustive listing of infrastructure; transport; goods; services; information and communication technology; mobility and communication aids which are covered
    • some advantages and some disadvantages of enumeration
  • Since advantages outweigh disadvantages we would advise a residuary section to take care of the problems of disadvantages
  • Standards Not Confined to Physical Accessibility alone but would also address the accessibility requirements of persons with psychosocial; intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • Question whether this should be named and included or just seamlessly included in the accessibility standards
  • A liberal definition of public so as to include the private player however allowances to small businesses and establishments

Research Development and Monitoring

  • Establishment of National Institute of Universal Design
  • Various options of setting it up to be discussed in Full Committee
  • To set it up through executive order
  • By separate statute
  • As a registered society
  • In this statute
  • Functions to be performed by the Institute
  • Whether only a research and development institution?
  • Or also to function as a Monitoring Body?
  • Ensuring Compliance and Penalties for Non Compliance
  • Fine or Imprisonment did not deliver the goods
  • Need for Alternative liabilities and sanctions
  • Normative suggestions such as no completion certificate without obtaining an accessibility certificate.
  • Adverse remarks; stoppage of electricity or withdrawal of recognition
  • Question for the Committee
  • How should this be incorporated in the law?
  • One option is to provide for it in the law but leave the enforcement on the regulatory authority
  • Second option is to legislate on the circumstances in which the sanction will become applicable
  • First option is more flexible than the second and is based on trusting the judgment of the enforcement authority
  • Second is a command -control where oversight is being retained on both the duty bearer and the enforcing authority.

II Human Resource Development

Creation of Service, Cadre, Posts

  • The necessity of personnel from grass root to tertiary level
  • Possibilities of setting up a National Disability Service in the legislation explored
  • Constitutionally this can only be done after a resolution to that effect is passed by the Rajya Sabha
  • In the interim the rehabilitation sub-group shall advise of positions which can created in this law to address the issue of personnel.

At the civil society consultation a number of questions were raised around the role of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) in human resource development. Whilst one opinion was that the RCI was only an accreditation body; others felt that the RCI could make a contribution to HRD provided the resources at its disposal were enhanced and its functions enhanced. Consequent to the meeting the role of RCI vis a vis human resource development as also its relationship with the Disability Rights Authority is being researched and the till then findings of this research will be presented at the 19th-20th meeting.

Disability Rights Training

  • The necessity of disability rights training at all levels
  • Duty to this effect will be incorporated in the new law in line with an analogous provision which exists in the Domestic Violence Act.
  • What the Committee would need to consider post the civil society meeting is the extent of detail the members wish to provide on the content of this training. Whilst details of the training should ordinarily be left to the persons undertaking the training, it is possible to pen down the mandatory minimum content in the statute.

Further questions on training

In what follows we have put together some of the capacity building suggestions which have come from members in relation to some of the civil -political rights which shall be included in the new Act. We have put these down here just to sharpen the point in relation to capacity building. Whilst capacity building for socio-economic rights is more established and known; this is a relatively unchartered area. The importance of continuous training of existing personnel may be especially significant for this area. The committee may need to consider whether the Act should mandate this training more explicitly?

Right to Life

  • Capacity building programs for Families and care providers on care giving / giving support (e.g. Aadi's 4 principles program focuses on dignity, having control over own decisions, purpose of life, and social network).
  • Trainings on right to life, liberty and living, and caring must be provided to doctors as well as part of their sensitisation.

Right to Privacy

  • All courses, including professional courses, must include trainings on aspects of respect for privacy, dignity, personal integrity.
  • PWD should be provided with information and learning so that they know what choices to make on privacy.

Freedom of Speech and Expression

  • People's creativity is a way of communication. Care givers, and supported networks must attend to creative expression with equal seriousness. The Act must facilitate good 'reception' and listening skills of care givers.

Access to Justice

  • There was a discussion on improving the caring capabilities of the judicial system, which is a highly cognitive system. Emotional intelligence of this system to be addressed, by finding sensitive judges and influencing them to instil sensitivities. Capacity building of the judiciary is a must.
  • Block level legal service authority must be sensitised to human rights of all peoples including people with disabilities.
  • Quasi judicial systems and authorities (e.g. family court, Tribunals, Commissionerates, higher level people in civil service, etc.) must be trained as well on disability sensitivities.
  • Lok Adalats, Gram Nyalaya, Juvenile Courts and ADRs must be sensitized.
  • Prison and police authorities must be trained in disabilities.
  • Capacity building with different cadres on disability should aim to develop empathy, listening skills and other qualities of relating with society and with PWDs and not just be on basic information.
  • Right of Access to justice for PWDs must be included into all legal trainings, curriculum at LLM level, trainings of judges in training, all cadres of the judiciary including advocates.

Right to Live Independently and in the Community

  • Independence trainings for care givers and for PDs, so that community relationships are built on mutual contribution and respect