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Uncrpd Goes To India


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This is the overview of the paper on harmonising laws with the UNCRPD

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Uncrpd Goes To India

  1. 1. HARMONISING UNCRPD AND INDIAN LAW FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE DEAF Presented by Arun C Rao Executive Director The Deaf Way Foundation
  2. 2. The background <ul><li>The rights discussion has been a long time in coming </li></ul><ul><li>In India with a culture that promotes paternal attitudes it is that much harder. </li></ul><ul><li>For the deaf the communication barrier is everything. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The background <ul><li>Being unable to access one’s own family is a terrible way to have to live. </li></ul><ul><li>The nature of deafness is such that its invisible and this has been the cause of neglect for the most part. </li></ul>
  4. 4. DEFINITION <ul><li>The clarity of the definition “deaf and dumb” has been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. </li></ul><ul><li>The deaf are now reporting fraudulent use of provisions for the deaf by hearing non disabled persons. </li></ul><ul><li>The term “deaf and dumb” having been replaced with “hearing impaired” has had a negative impact. </li></ul>
  5. 5. DEFINITION <ul><li>The term used in the law must be ‘hearing and speech impaired’; </li></ul><ul><li>The definition of the term hearing and speech impaired must be a person with 60 db hearing loss; </li></ul><ul><li>There should be no additional criterion of 40% disability as far as hearing and speech impaired persons are concerned as this creates confusion. The provision should clearly set out that a person with 60 db loss is a person with hearing and speech impairment; </li></ul>Recommended provision – A hearing and speech impaired person having hearing loss of over 60Db in the better ear shall be termed as a “D e af ” person or a hearing and speech impaired person.
  6. 6. The PWD Act <ul><li>Mentions deafness on 4 occasions. </li></ul><ul><li>No mention of sign language </li></ul><ul><li>No mention of interpreters </li></ul><ul><li>No mention of captioned TV </li></ul><ul><li>These are the big ticket items we need to be able to be equal participants. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Recommendations <ul><li>A series of recommendations on the patterns of the UNCRPD have been framed. </li></ul><ul><li>These are purposed to be included in the “New Disability Act” that is being drafted. </li></ul><ul><li>We will of course also give it to the Govt as recommendations for legislation </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Acts on language <ul><li>Indian Sign Language is the key to the emancipation of deaf people. </li></ul><ul><li>The status of sign language must be raised to have the recognition and acceptance it deserves. </li></ul>
  9. 9. ACCESS TO JUSTICE <ul><li>Laws governing access to justice were seen as vital to safety of the individual. </li></ul><ul><li>We have worked on the Indian Evidence Act, Code of Criminal procedure, Code of Civil procedure among others. </li></ul>
  10. 10. ACCESS TO JUSTICE <ul><li>The rights of a deaf person when interfacing with the justice system have not been considered in current legislation. In fact there is only passing mention of a ‘dumb witness’ </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic human rights is an area where not much has been done. </li></ul>
  11. 11. MOBILITY <ul><li>The deaf are subjected to limited mobility by virtue of not being allowed to drive legally. </li></ul><ul><li>This matter is currently sub judice but we have worked on the Indian Motor Vehicles Act </li></ul>
  12. 12. ACCESS TO INFORMATION <ul><li>Despite having a strong oral policy while dealing with deaf education, the information rights of the deaf have been neglected. </li></ul><ul><li>TV has not been made accessible in spite of technology being available </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreters are not used in public functions and Govt broadcasts. </li></ul>
  13. 13. ACCESS TO INFORMATION <ul><li>We have proposed fresh legislation with regard to the TV manufacturing guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Also amendments to the broadcasting regulations </li></ul>
  14. 14. EMPLOYMENT <ul><li>All laws dealing with employment to provide linguistic access at each stage of the recruitment process and non discriminatory promotion procedures </li></ul><ul><li>This process will necessitate changes in procedure across the board which will need to be monitored. </li></ul>
  15. 15. EMPLOYMENT
  16. 16. DEAF CHILDREN <ul><li>Deaf children have it the worst being the most vulnerable of all. </li></ul><ul><li>Delayed linguistic development is the norm </li></ul><ul><li>Communication gap making it extremely hard to protect and then defend the child’s best interest/rights </li></ul>
  17. 17. Deaf children <ul><li>We have worked on laws and procedures with regard to children’s courts and boards dealing with children welfare. </li></ul><ul><li>Building capacity in the children’s homes where the State cares for children. </li></ul>