ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Scrutinising Reasonable Accommodation under the RPwD Act, 2016

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 defines “reasonable accommodation” for disability inclusion, but its ambiguity regarding 21 impairments raises concerns. Inclusive education, as shown in two case studies, underscores the importance of precise definitions to support students with specific conditions such as thalassaemia patients and acid attack victims.

Disability is a multidimensional concept, and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016 defines it as a long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairment that, in interaction with barriers, hinders full and effective participation in society (GoI 2016). To address this challenge, the concept of “reasonable accommodation” was introdu­ced to promote equality, enable positive rights, and prevent discrimination based on disabilities, health conditions, or personal beliefs. Under the RPwD Act, 2016, reasonable accommodation is defined as necessary and appropriate modifications and adjustments, without imposing a disproportionate burden, to ensure the enjoyment of rights equally with others, including provisions like additional time and scribes. (GoI 2016)

While the RPwD Act, 2016 represents a significant step towards recognising and prescribing reasonable accommodations for inclusive education, the reality is far from ideal. The TRRAIN HSBC Disability Employment Report 2019 (TRRAIN Trust 2019) revealed that 46% of the persons with disability (PwD) in India are uneducated, underscoring the denial of quality education and equal opportunities for millions of students with disabilities in the country.

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Updated On : 23rd Oct, 2023
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