Indian Definitions of Disability

| | posted on:Multiple Disability

Hearing handicap: Means deafness with hearing impairment of 70 decibels and above in the better ear or total loss social changeof hearing in both ears.
Locomotor disability: Means a person’s inability to execute distinctive activities associated with moving, both himself/herself and objects, from place to place, and such inability resulting from affliction of either bones, joints, muscles or nerves.
Mental Retardation: Means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterized by sub–normality of intelligence.
Visually handicapped: Means a person who suffers from any of the following conditions, namely:

  • Total absence of sight.
  • Visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with the correcting lenses.
  • Limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of degree 20 or worse.

Orthopedic or Neurological Disorder: A person shall be deemed to be orthopedically or neurologically disabled if he/she has having disability of bones, joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or if he/she has any form of Cerebral palsy.

In 1986, The Ministry of Welfare, Government of India issued orders prescribing a standard set of definitions alongwith standard tests for the purposes of certification of disability. These definitions (whose suitability in the light of new legal safeguards must be carefully examined) were adopted and used.

For major categories of disability, the definitions are as follows:
Visually handicapped: The blind are those who suffer from either of the following conditions:

  • Total absence of sight.
  • Visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with correcting lenses.
  • Limitation of the field of vision surrounding an angle of degree 20 or worse.

Locomotor: The locomotor handicapped are those who have restriction in the activity of arms, limbs or other parts of the body on account of damage to the bones, muscles or nerves. Persons suffering from more than 40 per cent disability would be entitled to facilities/concessions provided by Central/State governments. Hearing Handicapped– The deaf are those in whom the sense of hearing is non–functional for ordinary purposes in life. They do not hear/understand sound at all even with amplified speech. The cases included in this category will be those having hearing loss of more than 70 decibels in the better ear (profound impairment) or total loss of hearing in both ears.

Mental Retardation: Mental retardation means sub average general intellectual functioning associated with mal–adaptive behavior, occurring in the developmental period. Mental retardation is divisible into the following four categories

  • Mild retardation IQ – 50 – 70.Moderate retardation IQ – 35 – 49.
  • Severe retardation IQ – 20 – 34.
  • Profound retardation IQ under 20.

In the new Law – Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, unless the context otherwise requires:
Disability means:

  • Blindness.
  • Low vision.
  • Leprosy cured.
  • Hearing impairment.
  • Mental retardation.
  • Mental illness.

‘Blindness’: Refers to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions, namely – –total absence of sight, or visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with correcting lenses –limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degrees or worse.
‘Cerebral Palsy’: Means a group of non–progressive conditions of a person characterized by abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre–natal, or infant period of development.
‘Hearing impairment’: Means loss of sixty decibels or more in the better ear in the conversational range of frequencies.
‘Leprosy cured person’: Means any person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from – loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye–lid but with no manifest deformity, manifest deformity and paresis but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity, extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevents him from undertaking any gainful occupation, and the expression ‘Leprosy cured’ shall be construed accordingly.
‘Locomotor disability’: Means disability of the bones, joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy.
‘Mental illness’: Means any mental disorder other than mental retardation.
‘Mental retardation’: Means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterized by sub normality of intelligence.
‘Person with disability’: Means a person suffering from not less than forty per cent of any disability as certified by a medical authority. ‘Person with low vision’ means a person with impairment of visual functioning even after treatment or standard refractive correction but who uses or is potentially capable of using vision for the planning or execution of appropriate assistive device.

Share Your Thoughts...