Equal Opportunity Policy for Persons with Disabilities

IAS Prelims 2023

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has notified the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017.

The Rules mandate each establishment to publish an Equal Opportunity Policy for Persons with Disabilities. This policy should include facilities & amenities to be provided and posts identified for such persons.

The equal opportunity policy will have a list of jobs identified for persons with disabilities, the manner of selection of persons with disabilities for various posts, facilities such as special leave, residential accommodation or transfers, and appointment of a trained person to handle recruitment of differently-abled persons.

The policy of a private establishment having twenty or more employees and the Government establishments should contain the following:

• facility and amenity to be provided to the persons with disabilities to enable them to effectively discharge their duties in the establishment;
• list of posts identified suitable for persons with disabilities in the establishment;
• the manner of selection of persons with disabilities for various posts, post-recruitment and pre-promotion training, preference in transfer and posting, special leave, preference in allotment of residential accommodation if any, and other facilities;
• provisions for assistive devices, barrier-free accessibility and other provisions for persons with disabilities;
• appointment of liaison officer by the establishment to look after the recruitment of persons with disabilities and provisions of facilities and amenities for such employees.
• Further, every establishment is required to comply with standards relating to physical environment, transport, information & communication technology etc. Documents to be placed on the website have to be in Electronic Publication (ePUB) or Optical Character Reader (OCR) based pdf format.

The Rules stipulate the composition of the Central Committee for Research on Disability. They, however, bar research to be conducted on a person with disability, except when the research involves physical impact on his body.

The rules mandate a grievance redressal mechanism. In case of a complaint, a differently-abled person can approach the chief commissioner or state commissioner for persons with disabilities. The complaint will have to be disposed of within 60 days.