India’s parliament passes Disabilities Bill, making accessibility a mandatory requirement

Asia-Pacific, December 19 2016

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Friday passed by voice vote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, which makes accessibility a mandatory requirement.

disability parkingThe bill, which replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, has been brought in to comply with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which India signed in 2007.

It provides for imprisonment of at least six months up to two years, along with a fine ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against persons with disabilities.

In the bill, disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept and the types of disabilities have been increased from existing seven to 21.

The government will have the power to add more types of disabilities to it. The types of disabilities now include mental, autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions. It also strengthens the office of chief commissioner and state commissioners for Persons with Disabilities which will act as regulatory bodies.

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