Legal Provisions For Deaf


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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

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