Goa State policy and plan of action for differently abled persons

1.1 Definition of Disabilities

“Disability” and “Persons with Disabilities” or differently abled persons for this statement are as defined in the Person with disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” and any other statute enacted for the welfare of Persons with Disabilities.

1.2 Population of Persons with Disabilities or Differently abled Persons

According to the census 2001 there are 2.19 crores of differently abled persons in India, which constitutes 2.13 percent of total population. This includes persons with Visual, Hearing, Speech, Locomotor and mental Disabilities. In the State of Goa there are 15749 Differently abled Persons, of which there are 4910 Locomotor Disabilities, 4393 visually impaired, 1868 speech impaired, 1000 hearing impaired and 3578 persons with Mental Retardation. The percentage of differently abled population is around 1.17% as compared to the total population of the State of Goa.

1.3 Emerging Trends

It has been realized that majority of Differently abled Persons can lead a normal life if they have effective access to rehabilitation services, which would include early identification, intervention, education, vocational training, employment opportunities and the availability of Aids and Appliances.

1.4 Existing Law

In 1995, the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act was promulgated. The State has framed its Rules in the year 1997.As provided under Act and Rules the Government of Goa has constituted State Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of the Hon’ble Minister of Social Welfare (Annexure-1) and State Executive Committee under the Chairmanship of the Secretary (Social Welfare) (Annexure-2). The Secretary (Social Welfare) is also designated the State Commissioner of Disability (Annexure-3) and both the collectors as Additional Commissioners of Disabilities (Annexure-4 ) for monitoring and implementation of various provisions of the Act.

The Government of India enacted the National Trust for Welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental retardation and Multiple Disability Act, 1999. The objectives of the Act is to provide support to the creation of enabling climate for an independence as is possible and to provide for assistive decision making wherever essential. A Board has been constituted by Government of India to discharge the function as enshrined in the Act. The State Government has constituted a Local Level Committee under the Act. (Annexure-5).

State Policy Statement

The State policy recognizes that “Differently abled Persons” are on important resource for the state and seeks to create on environment that provides them equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation in society. The policy shall specifically focus on the following.

2.1 Prevention and Early Detection

Since disability in large number of cases, is preventable there will be strong emphasis on prevention of disabilities. Early detection of disability and early intervention helps in minimization of impact of Disability. Therefore, there will be emphasis on early detection and intervention.  Necessary, facilities including dissemination of information shall be ensured to enable such detection and necessary intervention.

2.2 Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation services including counseling, strengthening capacities of persons with disabilities and their families, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, surgical correction and intervention shall be extended to cover all the talukas in the State by action involvement and participation of Local Level Institution, N.G.O.s including associates of Parents of Differently abled Persons.

2.3 Education

There is a need for mainstreaming of the persons with disabilities in the general education system through inclusive education.  Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) launched by the Government of India has the goal of eight years of elementary schooling for all the children including children with disabilities in the age group of 6-14 years by 2010. The State has joined the SSA in the year 2005.

Under the scheme a shelf of education options learning aids and tools, mobility assistance, support services, etc. are available for children with disabilities. This include education through an open learning system and open Educational Institutions, alternatives schooling, distance education, home bases education, remedial teaching, part time classes, community bases rehabilitation (CBR) and vocational education and cooperative programmes. The programme also envisages augmentation of teaching skill and capabilities of teachers.

The Government of Goa has introduce a scheme in which Government is providing stipend  and scholarship to the students with disabilities for pursuing studies at school level as well as college level including professional vocational courses.  The State Government also introduced a holistic scheme in the year 2005 through the Education Department in which State  provides traveling allowance, escort allowance, books, uniform and stationary to the parents of students with disabilities.  Also the state Government attendance allowance to the Educational Institutions for improvement of attendance in the school (Annexure-6).

The Government has also notified additional time to be given to the students while answering the examinations.

2.4 Employment for persons with disabilities

Differently abled Person shall be provided equal opportunities for production and gainful employment.   The State Government has ensured through executive instructions that three percent reservation for persons with Disabilities is provided against identified posts in accordance with statutory requirements (Annexure-7).

1. Employment in private sector shall be encouraged for Differently abled persons by development of appropriate skill for their employability opportunities for self employment and by developing a package of incentives that would help in creating opportunities for them in this sector.

2. Best Employer will be given an Award of amounting Rs.25000/- who has sympathy towards employees/Disabled employee, 3% Disabled Person in organization, barrier free Access and equal service condition than other normal employees additional facilities of transport/ housing.

3. Best Employees will be given three awards (One of each category i.e. visual disabled, hearing disabled and physically disabled.) amounting Rs.25000/-on the basis of performance of last 3 years records.

4. To encourages the self employment by the differently abled person the State Government also provide financial assistance to the Differently abled persons.

2.5 Barrier free environment

Public building / Places / transportation system, etc.  shall be made barrier free through design changes, use of appropriate materials and strict adherence of building bye laws, space standards for barrier free built environment by 2008.

Best District will be given an Award amounting Rs.25000/- who totally implements Persons With Disabilities Act, 1995 in the District and take Initiative for rehabilitation.

2.6 Assistive Devices for Differently abled Persons

The State Government has been assisting the Differently abled persons in procuring durable and scientifically manufactured modern standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical social and psychological rehabilitation by reducing the effects of disabilities.

Every year the Differently abled Persons with be provided with devices such as prosthesis and orthoses, mobility aids, such as tricycles, wheel chairs, surgical footwear and devices for activities of daily living, learning materials, low vision aids, special mobility aids, various types of hearing aids, educational kits and other assistive devices suitable for the Differently abled persons including persons with mental disabilities. The availability of devices will be accelerated to uncovered and un-serviced areas.

2.7 Disability Certificate

The State Government has notified guidelines for evaluation of disabilities and procedure for Certification. Formats for issue of disability Certificate has also been prescribed under these guidelines. The disabilities certificate are issued by the Medical Board notified by the State Government (Annexure-8).

The Government will ensure that the Differently abled Persons obtain the disability Certificate without any difficulty in the shortest possible time by adoption of simple transparent and client friendly procedures.

2.8 Social Security for Persons with Disabilities

Differently abled persons, their families and care givers incur substantial additional expenditure for facilitating activities of daily living, medical care, transportation assistive devices, etc.  Therefore, there is a need to provide them social security by various means.  The State Government is providing disability pension to the differently abled persons for their life time irrespective of their age under Dayanand Social Security Scheme.

The State Government is also providing Award to the persons who select Differently abled his/ her life partner. The State Government also reserves the flats constructed by the Goa Housing Board for the Differently abled persons 

(Annexure-9) and also notified landless Differently abled persons as one of the category for the purpose of the Article 334-A of the Legislative Diploma No.2070 (Code of Communidade ) (Annexure-10).

2.9 Promotion of Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s)

The Director of Social Welfare has been notified the competent authority under section 50 PWD Act. The NGO sector is a vibrant and growing one and has played a significant role in the provision of the services for the differently abled. Voluntary efforts will be promoted and supported and effort will be made for interaction with NGO’s on disability issues and on services to be provided.  Networking exchange of information and interaction among NGOs will be encouraged and facilitated within the constraints of available resources. The State Government also provide financial assistance to the NGO working in the field of Differently abled persons.

* To encourage and promote – early detection, prevention to directive [Rs.20000/- to 2,00,000/-]
* Assistance to organization for differently abled with cerebral mental retardation [100% of approved cost recurring and non recurring expenditure]
* Assistance to NGO for special school for differently abled [90% of approved cost on recurring Expenditure and upto 10 lakhs for construction of building]
* Assistance to NGO to cater the special problem of differently abled [90% of approved cost on recurring Expenditure and upto 10 lakhs for construction of building]
* Best NGO (One) Award amount Rs.25000/-
1. Who works in large number of years for Disabled Persons under Persons with Disabilities Act 1995.
2.  Started New practices achievement in the field of Training/Education/Rehabilitation assist to Govt. Departments motivating to General Public, specially in rural areas to rehabilitate to disabled persons provided Aids to the disabled Persons giving other initiatives.

2.10 Collection of regular information on Differently abled Persons

The census 2001 has collected the information on Differently abled Persons.  There is a need for regular collection of information related to Socio Economic conditions of Differently abled Persons.  The state Government will obtain the information at least once in five years on employment status of Differently abled Persons.

A Data base of the persons with disability will be prepared and the important information will be made available on the comprehensive web site for Differently abled persons which will be created under the Department of Social Welfare.

2.11 Transport

The State Government is providing Rs.100/- P.M. conveyance allowance to its Differently abled employees. The State also provide free transport in State on public Transport and 15 ltrs. of petrol / diesel or 50% cost whichever is less to assist the  differently abled persons  to use the vehicle to the place of work and rehabilitation centre.

2.12 Research

The Government will encourage and support research for improving the quality of life for Differently abled persons. The research will be supported on their Socio Economic and Cultural Context, reasons for incidence of Disabilities, development of user friendly aids and appliances and matters connected with disabilities in which research is considered necessary.

2.13 Sports and Recreation

Differently abled Persons have the right to access sports and recreation facilities. The Government will take necessary steps to provide them opportunity for participation in various sports and recreational activities.

2.14 Media

The Government will take necessary steps to create awareness about the benefit and facilities available for the Differently abled persons.

Plan of Action

3.1 Prevention and Early detection

In order to ensure prevention and early detection of disabilities the following action will be taken with the assistance of health, education, Panchayat, Rural Development Organisation both in Government and Non Government Sectors.

1. Regional and Local Programmes of immunization (Children as well as expectant mothers) public health and sanitation will be undertaken to ensure prevention of outbreak of diseases that may lead to disabilities.

2. Medical and para medical personnel will be adequately trained and equipped for early detection of disability amongst children and to follow through with appropriate intervention to minimize the impact of the disabilities.

3. Government as well as Non Governmental bodies will ensure that all institutions responsible for training of medical and para medical health functionaries and pre-school education (eg. ICDS functionaries, Primary School Teachers) develop modules and facilities for training in disabilities prevention, early detection and time intervention through medical and social rehabilitation.

4. Special attention will be paid towards improving awareness, nutrition, health care, sanitation, etc. of adolescent girls, expecting mothers, women in reproductive period. Awareness programme for preventions will be built in at the school level and at the level of teachers training courses.

5. Training of care givers will also be given

3.2 Rehabilitation Strategies

The following rehabilitation strategies will be adopted.

1. Rehabilitation services will be provided at the district level through District Disability Rehabilitation Centre. Additionally the capacities of the existing centers with the Medical and health Departments, Social Welfare Departments or any other organizations including NGOs shall be upgraded to provide such services in talukas not covered by DDRCs.

2. Appropriate Centres will be designed to undertake a package of functions including Human Resource Development, research and long term specialized rehabilitation services suiting to the requirement of Differently abled Persons.

The course of rehabilitation and strategies adopted for the purpose shall be designed in consultation with Differently abled person their parents / legal guardians, etc.

3.3 Human Resource Development

The State Policy recognizes the importance of trained human resources engaged in the taste of comprehensive rehabilitation.

1. Programmes will be undertaken to meet the manpower requirement for rehabilitation of Differently abled Persons. The human resource will be developed in the following area.

* Training of Primary Level Workers both in health care and in community development comprising of Anganwadi  Workers, Nurses (mid wife’s) etc.
* Support for training and orientation of personnel of NGOs providing services to Differently abled Persons.
* Training and sensitization of community decision makers such as members of Panchayats, heads of Families, etc.

3.4 Education

The policy recognizes that education is the most effective vehicle of social and economic development. In keeping with the constitutional mandate and personal aspiration of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, education is made available to all the children with disabilities upto the minimum age of 18 years. Education would be viewed in its full dimension i.e. the systematic development and cultivation of the natural powers by inculcation, examples, etc. any structural training in an institution of learning, the formation of knowledge and skills resulting from instruction and training.

All educational efforts will be child centric and will be designed for the enhancement of natural powers and formation of productivity oriented skill. It will be ensured that every child with disabilities have access to appropriate pre school, primary and secondary school level education by 2010. Special care will be taken to.

1. Pre-school will be taken as a part of Education Policy.
2. Make school (building approaches, toilets, play grounds, laboratory, library, etc) barrier free and accessible for all types of disabilities.
3. Medium and method of teaching will be suitably adapted to the equipment of most disability candidates.
4. Teaching / hearing tools and aids such as educational toys, Braille / talking books appropriate will be given to expand facilities available. Incentives will be given to expand facilities for setting up of general libraries, e-libraries, Braille – libraries, talking libraries, resource rooms, etc.
5. Curriculum designs will be suitably amended to cater to flexible system of education and examination.
6. National open school and distance learning programme will be popularized.
7. Sign language, alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) modes as a viable medium in inter personal communication will be recognized.
8. Educational Institutions will be located within the easy traveling distances. Alternatively, viable travel 
arrangement will be made.
9. Parents – teachers counseling and grievances redressal system will be formalized within the school setting.
10. There will be separate mechanism to review annually the intake and retention of girl child with disability at primary and secondary level of education.
11. Many children with disability may not be in a position to join inclusive education system due to the nature and degree of disabilities. These children would continue to get educational services through special Educational Institutions. Special Educational Institutions shall be appropriately re-modeled and re-oriented based on technological development so that they may act as agents for change in all Educational Institutions.
12. Adult learning / leisure centers for adults with sever disabilities will be promoted.
13. Facilities for technical educations designed to inculcate and bolster skill development suited to various types of productive activities by suitable adaptation of the existing institutes or accelerated setting up of institution in un-served / under served arrears will be encouraged.

3.5 Employment

1. Considering small population of differently abled persons existing Employment Exchange maintain separate record of differently abled persons.

2. Special recruitment drive

3. A policy and supporting structure of services to ensure that differently abled persons in both Urban and Rural arrears have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment will be adopted. Rural employment of appropriate tools and equipments in agro based activities.

4. Vocational training and on the job training consistent with the differently abled persons abilities and the demands of the job market will be provided in an ordinary or specialized institutional set up by the state or voluntary organization and in industry in adequate numbers.

5. The integration of differently abled persons into open employment will be ensured through a variety of measures such as in center – oriented quota system, reservation is designated employment, formalism of cooperatives with exclusive or priority production items, provision of sheltered industries etc.

6. Additional steps will be taken to:

a) Ensure reservation in accordance with the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 in identified posts for Differently abled Person in the Government sector.

b) Develop appropriate home based employment programmes for the Differently able persons who opt for such programmes and specially for severely differently abled persons.

c) Lay special emphasis on promoting self employment of Differently abled persons by providing credits at preferential rates of interest and necessary training.

d) Provide assistance through appropriate agencies like marketing federation, DRDA’s in marketing of goods and services produced by Differently abled persons.

e) The Director of Social Welfare or his representative shall be co-opted as member as member of the Departmental selection and promotion Committees.

f) Annual review of 3% reservation in Government Sector.

g) Suo Motu cases will be taken up by commissioner covering all applicable sections of Persons with Disabilities Act, Government orders, rules, regulations, etc. made for the benefit of Differently abled persons.

3.6 Barrier Free Environments

Public building (functional or recreational) transport amenities including roads, subways, pavements, railway, platform, bus stops, modes of transport (bus, train, planes), playgrounds, open spaces, etc. will be made accessible through design changes, use of appropriate material in their construction and strict adherence to their maintenance standards by 2008. Architects construction engineers who are professionally involved in the design and construction of physical environment will be sensitized to the needs of persons with Disabilities through in-service training as well as suitable modification to the curricular in technological institute as part of their professional studies.

Full adoption of comprehensive studies and space standards for barrier – free built environment shall be made to ensure adoption of the bye laws and space standards by all the Panchayat and Municipal bodies in the state. All future infrastructure development will ensure universal access.

State transport undertaking shall ensure disabled friendly features in their vehicles, both at the production as well as operation stages.

The Government shall ensure by appropriate measures that Industrial establishment, offices, public utilities both in public and private sector shall be provided differently abled friendly work place for their employees.

Building byelaws will be amended

Pro-active steps will be taken to ensure differently abled friendly IT environment in the State.

3.7 Assistive Devices and Personal Mobility

Personal mobility will be enhanced through aids and appliances which will be continuously upgraded. Communication needs of the Differently abled Persons will be addressed through making information services and public documents accessible. Braille, tape – service, large print and other appropriate technologies will be used to provide information for persons with visual impairment. While appropriate technologies would be provided to persons with hearing impairment. Use of sign language in all public functions will be encouraged. A comprehensive public information programme about the needs, abilities, rights and concern of differently abled persons would be put in the public domain in a universally accessible format for the purpose of creating positive attitudinal changes. A state disability information system shall be established. A resource directory that includes all Government schemes/facilities and private/non-governmental facilities in the state of Goa will be prepared. The information will also be made available on web site. Goa Doordarshan will start programmes for the hearing impaired and also develop schemes that assist in the development of literature in Braille for the visually impaired.

3.8 Social Security

The state Government shall take necessary steps to provide unemployment allowances / disability pensions to the persons with disabilities. This will be review every year by the State Coordination Committee.

3.9 Non Government Organizations

1. The following programme shall be undertaken under N. G. O. sector.

  • A Directory of N.G.O.’s working in the field of disability will be prepared. The Directory of N.G.O.’s shall properly map all the N.G.O.’s by geographic region along with their major activities. For N.G.O.’s supported by the Central / State Government their resources position both Financial and man power etc. will also be shown.

  • Steps shall be taken to encourage and accord preference to N.G.O.s working in the unserviced and inaccessible areas.

  • N.G.O.s will be encouraged to draw and adopt minimum standards codes of conduct and ethics through interaction among themselves.

  • Opportunities will be provided for orientation and training of manpower, transparency and accountability, procedural simplification etc. will be guiding factor in striving for improvement in the N.G.O. Government partnership.

  • The N.G.O.s shall be encouraged to mobilize their own resources to reduce the dependence of grant in aid from the Government and also to improve the availability of funds for the services in the sector of disability. Tapering of assistance in a schematic manner will also be considered so that the number of N.G.O.s to be helped within the available resources could be maximized.

3.10 Sports and Recreation

The Government shall take measures to ensure that Differently abled persons have equal opportunities for recreation and sports through the following means:

  • Make places for recreation and sport, hotels beaches, sports areas, gym hall etc. accessible.

  • Travel agencies, hotels, voluntary organization and others involved in organizing recreational activities or travel opportunities should offer their services to all taking into account the special needs of Different abled Persons. Suitable training will be provided to the agencies engaged in such activities.

  • Formation of sports organization for Differently abled Persons will be encouraged. There will be mechanism to support the participation of Differently abled persons in National and International events.

3.11 Media

The State policy recognizes that media has a very important role to play in highlighting the changing situation of Differently abled Persons and in identifying encouraging issues and arrears of concern.

The policy aims to involve mass media as well as informal and traditional communication channels on disability issues. It will be necessary to provide opportunities to media personal to have access to information apart from their own independent source of information and reporting of field situation. The participation of media in orientation programmes on issues related to disabilities will be formulated.

The use of media will be intensified to spread knowledge and awareness about the facilities available as well as about groups and individuals working in the area of disabilities so as to encourage inter personal exchange and formation of support groups.

3.12 Implementation

The Department of Social Welfare will be the nodal departments to coordinate all matters relating to the implementation of the policy. In addition to implementing its own programme and schemes the Department will play a pro-active role in pursuing with concerned authorities any issues which impinge on the rights of the Differently abled Persons.

An inter Department body to coordinate matters relating to implementation of State policy will be formed.

The State Commissioner shall play key role in implementation of Sate policy apart from their statutory responsibilities.

Every five years a detailed review will be done on the implementation of the State policy. The review will be a public document and will be discussed in a State convention.

Awareness Campaign about the schemes of differently abled will be orgnised at the Village Panchayat level.

Panchayati Raj Institutions will be encouraged to participate in the implementation of the State policy to address local level issues and draw up suitable programme which will be integrated with the Village and District plan.