Sunday, 22 July 2012

22 Rules Regarding Equalization of Opportunities

Recently , I had the opportunity to attend two events organized to support the persons with disabilities.The first was on the occasion of the start of new two years Diploma in Education(Special Education for the Mentally Retarded) being run by PYSSUM((Paramhansa Yogananda Society for Special Unfolding and Moulding), Research and Training Centre , Lucknow (UP), India.Trainee special educators were given the introductory talk .I was asked to give my views on "developing right attitude in serving the disabled".
    The second event was to facilitate the organizers and students of a workshop on Dry Flower Technology .It was a two day  workshop on vocational training organized jointly by National Botanical Research Institute and a non-governmental organization Shashwat Jigyasa for the differently abled students of St. Francis School for hearing impaired, Thakurganj , Lucknow(UP), India.
Attending both these events was a great learning and  enriching experience for me  , and in many ways , changed many of my perspectives and paradigms .I tried to see the  prevailing situation regarding disability and related issues from the first principles .I also had a chance to go through some of the landmark thinking done earlier in this field.
     The UNO observed the decade of disabled persons  from 1983 to 1992 as the decade of Disability .It came up with 22  Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities  in  1993(Adopted by the UN General Assembly, resolution 48/96, on December20,1993) .These rules are not binding on the member states but are an instrument for policy making and implementation regarding equal opportunities to persons with disabilities.Four  of these rules described the preconditions essential for equalization of opportunities for the disabled .Ten rules related to the implementation of steps  to be taken by the States  for equalization of opportunities .Seven rules related to monitoring and evaluation  of programmes and schemes related to equalization of opportunities .
                   When I see the situation in Uttar Pradesh , India , regarding the attitude towards disability , as also the over all situation , I find that we have   yet to do a lot  in many areas , though the 22 Rules were adopted by the  UNO  about 20 years ago . I  have reflected on these 22 Rules intensively and find that we have  some important activities to do ,derived from these rules , though there is no one to one correspondence between the rules and the activities .Further , the action points are not in the order of priority.In fact , many  of these are fundamental to the basic principle of equalization of opportunities , and are therefore equally essential .The 22 Rules are summarized as below.
Four Preconditions:
Rule1:Awareness raising
Rule2:Medical care
Rule4:Support services
Eight Target Area:
Rule8:Income maintenance and social security
Rule9:Family and personal integrity
Rule11:Recreation and sports
Twelve implementational measures:
Rule13:Information and research
Rule14:Policy making and planning
Rule16:Economic policies
Rule17:Coordination of work
Rule18:Organizations of persons with disabilities
Rule19:Personnel training
Rule20:National monitoring and evaluation of disability programmes in the implementation of the Rules
Rule21:Technical and economic cooperation
Rule22:International cooperation.
On the basis of above Rules , we can hold a number of workshops , discussion sessions, seminars and conferences to come out with a series of recommendations and actions to secure a more equal world for the persons with disabilities .These are only illustrative and not exhaustive :
1.Media workshops :
For portraying persons with disabilities in a positive way and also to find ways to make news accessible to  such persons.
2. Training in values , attitudes,competence , technology,skills and information on disability issues and programmes.This training needs to be imparted to employees of the disabled welfare department, professionals , teachers and community workers.
3.Development, production,distribution and servicing of assistive devices and equipment for all age groups of persons with disabilities.
4.Workshops of architects , engineers and town planners on accessibility.
5.Workshops of advocates, persons with disabilities and families on legal provisions relating to disabilities.
6.Workshops on computerized systems for the disabled and technology in devices , tools and equipments.
7.Workshops on whether education should be mainstream with integration of the persons with disability or should it be special education in special schools for the children with disability.
8.Workshops on vocational training for persons with disability.
9.Workshops on filling up quota of jobs and promotion policy in government and public sector for the persons with disability.Also employment of persons with disability in private sector.Placements.
10.Workshops on loans for small business , grants and tax concessions for persons with disability.
11.Workshops on injuries at work , rehabilitation and social security.
12.Social security to the persons who undertake the care of the persons with disabilities.
13.Workshop on marriage and parenthood of persons with disabilities.
14.Workshop on enhancing opportunities of participation of persons with disabilities in cultural activities.
15.Workshop on increased participation of persons with disability in sports and recreation .
16.Workshops on making religious activities and religious literature accessible to the persons with disability.
17.Workshops on creating data bank on disability.
18.Workshops on efficacy of complaint redressal mechanisms against non-discrimination to persons with disability.
19.Workshops on creating a Disability Development Fund in the state.
20.Development of terminology and  criteria for evaluation of programmes and services for the persons with disability.

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