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Definition: Disability

The Disability Discrimination Act (UK), 1995 describes disability as “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

The United Nations defines disability as:

  • Impairment – Any loss or abnormality of a psychological or anatomical function.
  • Disability – Inability to perform an activity as a result of an impairment, which could otherwise be done by a normal human being
  • Handicap – A physical disadvantage for a person preventing him from doing a normal activity for a person of his age and sex

The Indian Disability Laws has provided 3 legislations for the people with disabilities:

  • Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 – Ensures education, employment, free environment and social security for disabled people
  • National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability Act, 1999 – Provides for legal guardianship and independent living for disabled persons
  • Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 – Provision of rehabilitation services.

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