Staff Reporter

‘We need new act to address disability sector'

BHUBANESWAR: Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) here on Friday demanded repealing of Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act-1995.

Addressing National Meet of Rehabilitation of Experts-2010, RCI Chairman Ian Cardozo said, “the Disability Act –1995 is very fractured one. We need a new Act to address disability sector.”

Experts should prepare the framework by studying clause by clause, Mr. Cardozo, a former major general in Indian Army, said.

He emphasised on proper enumeration of persons with disability in the upcoming census. In 2001 Census, only two per cent of total population was found to having disability, but in reality their numbers were much more than that, Mr. Cardozo said.

Experts from disability sector had gathered here to come out with a set of recommendations in five areas such as human resource development in the light Institute of Applied Manpower Research report, inclusive education and Sarva Sikshya Abhiyaan, capacity building of institutions, effective monitoring and regulation of training programmes and need for training programmes in recreation, sports and leisure activities for persons with disability.

As per the IAMR report, by the end of 2011 there would be a demand for 202126 trained persons of various categories of professionals in the country and the prevalence of certain disabilities will come down by the end of the XIIth Five year plan. An amount of Rs. 1951.76 crore is required to develop the required human resource

At present about 48,000 trained persons are registered with the RCI. About 120 experts are deliberating whether an additional course of two-year duration in regular mode or three years duration or more in distance mode will be required.

According to RCI officials, there is provision for resource teachers in SSA. The resources teachers are trained, have RCI approved qualification and registration. However, these special teachers are trained only in one type of disability. In order to address the needs of children with different types of disabilities and varied degrees of disabilities, additional courses are required.

Experts said ideally the teachers training programme should be designed in such a manner so that the teacher acquired the competency to deal with all types of children including children with special needs. The national meet is being organised in collaboration with city-based Chetana College of Special Education.