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Legal Provisions For Deaf

Legal Provisions For Deaf



An outline of the current situation vis a vis deaf people and their legal rights, interpreting services, education and the provisions of the People With Disability Act 1995

An outline of the current situation vis a vis deaf people and their legal rights, interpreting services, education and the provisions of the People With Disability Act 1995



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    Legal Provisions For Deaf Legal Provisions For Deaf Presentation Transcript

    • Legal Provisions in India Education Sign Language Role of Sign Language Interpreters
    • What we will cover …
      • Look at the current legal provisions in India relating to the Deaf in the areas of:
        • Education
        • Sign Language
        • The role of Sign Language interpreters
      • Consider what is lacking
    • Legal Provisions in India
      • The Constitution of India
        • Prior to 1995 there was no ‘disability status’
        • Remedies had to be sought under the principles of the Constitution
        • All statutes derive from the constitution
        • Where statutes fall short due to the limitations of their provisions the constitution can be invoked
    • The Constitution of India Relevant Articles
      • Right to Equality (Article 14)
      • Right to Affirmative Action and Positive Discrimination (Articles 14, 15 and 16)
      • The right to life (Article 21)
        • Including the right to live with human dignity
      • Directive Principles of State Policy
        • Some of these specifically mention rights of persons with disabilities
    • The Persons with Disabilities Act 1995
      • This Act outlines the rights to be provided to people with disabilities, and how the Government will provide these rights
      • Provisions of the Act are applicable to people with hearing impairment which is defined as a “loss of sixty decibels or more” (s.2(l))
      • Yet the provisions of the Act is lacking with regard to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
      • The Act provides for 1% reservation in government jobs for people with hearing impairment (s.33(ii))
      • But no mention at all about:
        • sign language in schools
        • Appropriate signage
        • Interpreters in all public forums
        • The need for research in communication methods
    • Education
      • The PWD Act reserves 3% seats for disabled students in all Government educational institutions
      • Every child with a disability should have access to free education until 18 years (s. 26(a))
      • Promotes research into developing new assistive devices, teaching aids and materials (s. 28)
      • Promotes teacher training programmes (s. 29)
      • Mandates that the Government should prepare a comprehensive education scheme (s. 30)
      • This includes the restructuring of the curriculum for the benefit of hearing impaired children – they only have to take one language! (s. 30(h))
    • Education of the Deaf
      • Yet despite the legislation the state of education of the deaf is extremely poor
      • Teaching in deaf schools is not adequate
      • Mainstream schools remain closed to deaf pupils due to attitudes and communication barriers
    • Sign Language
      • Unlike other countries ISL has no status in Indian education
      • ISL not standardised across India
      • Few efforts made to understand the nature of Indian Sign Language
      • Some efforts to compile Indian Sign Language dictionaries – but often not much more than 2000 words
      • Yet Sign Language used by the deaf certainly consists of more than that!
    • Sign Language Interpreters
      • Major concern is to break down communication barrier
      • But no current legislation on this
      • No mention in the PWD Act about sign language or the provision of sign language interpreters in schools and public forums