Right to Information (RTI) Guide for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)

“Disabled persons are handicapped not because of our disability, but because of lack of access to information about our rights and entitlements and how to get them,” says Victor Cordeiro of ActionAid’s disability unit. Keeping in mind the maxim ‘information is power’ the Sakshi Trust and ActionAid have produced a Right to Information guide to improve government facilities for Disabled People.

“This new handbook places power in the hands of people with disability, and gives us tools to advocate for ourselves,” says Codeiro. The book contains detailed information on the different benefits that a disabled person is entitled to from the government and provides a step-by-step guide on drafting a Right to Information application in the context of disability.

Ready to use applications have been pre-formatted and drafted so they can be easily used to seek information from any state or central government office. “It allows everyone to take part in making India’s governance system more transparent and accountable,” says ActionAid’s Nithila Baskaran.

The RTI guide has been designed especially for use by parents of disabled children, caregivers, students, development professionals or any concerned individual involved with disability. “But in addition to disability certification and assistive devices, the main topics covered are education, employment, public access, poverty alleviation schemes and complaint process so it will also be useful to people seeking more general information,” adds Baskaran.

The guide contains RTI applications for:

1. Obtaining a disability certificate

2. Facilitating barrier free access in government buildings

3. Improving access to public education and employment opportunities for disabled people

4. Ensuring complaints and appeals of disabled people are expedited by the Commissioner PWD

5. Reservation for PWD in poverty alleviation schemes

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