The Directorate for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled was established by bifurcating the Directorate of Social Welfare in 1992 to deal exclusively with the Welfare of the Disabled. Subsequently, the Directorate was upgraded as the office of the State Commissioner for the Disabled in 1999 as per the provisions in the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. The Government of Tamil Nadu through various policies and initiatives have extended full support to the Differently Abled Persons in their pursuit of full and equal involvement in every aspect of society. Various schemes have been announced by the Government to make sure that the differently abled persons are in equal status to the other people. The State Policy for the Differently Abled Persons has been issued by the Government in 1994 taking into account of the latest developments in Science and Technology. This policy also provides for a mechanism for promotion and protection of the rights of Differently Abled Persons and methods for ensuring equal opportunities for their full participation in social life. History is replete with instances of differently abled persons exhibiting exceptional and extraordinary skills. It is the responsibility of everybody in a civil society to play a vital role in creating an inclusive society where differently abled persons have equal opportunities and full participation in the growth and development of the country. A change of mind set and an approach with human touch towards the challenges faced by differently abled persons are the aims of this Government so that they lead a life of dignity and honour.
The thrust areas of Government are as follows:
- Prevention of disabilities;
- Early detection and intervention;
- Rehabilitation measures;
- Providing Special Education;
- Education and economic empowerment including self-employment;
- Development of professionals for rehabilitation;
- Provision of assistive devices;
- Creation of barrier free environment
- Social security.
Strategies to achieve Thrust areas:
- Creation of data base on differently abled persons.
- Creation of Infrastructure facilities (Barrier free Environment).
- Free and compulsory Primary Education.
- Vocational Training for employment in private sector and self employment
- Creation of Awareness
Government schemes for Differently Abled
Issue of National Identity Cards
The task of issuing National Identity Cards to all the eligible differently abled persons in the State is given top priority by the State Government.
The Government has amended the Tamil Nadu Persons with Disabilities [Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation] Rules, 2002 dated.17.6.2011. As per the amendment made in the Chapter II, the Government has simplified and streamlined the procedure for issue of disability certificates to eligible differently abled persons.
Procedures for issue of Disability Certificates have been simplified by permitting the doctors working in the Government Hospitals, Government Primary Health Centres, Government Institution and local hospitals to issue Disability certificates. Steps are being taken to issue National Identity Card, Pass Book and Certificates at the earliest.
As per this notification / amendment, the Medical Authority and person to issue disability certificate shall be as specified below
The Differently Abled person after getting disability certificate with percentage of disability 40% and above shall go to the respective District Differently Abled Welfare Office for registration. The District Differently Abled Welfare Officer will register and issue the National Identity Cards with pass book after affixing seal in the family card. After getting National Identity Cards, they can register as members of Tamil Nadu Welfare Board for differently abled persons and avail various social security and welfare schemes of Welfare Board.
National Awards are given by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India on the occasion of International Day of the differently abled persons, observed on 3rd December every year.
The Awards are presented to Best Employee, Employer, Placement Officer, Institution, Individual, Creative person, Creative Children, Best Role Model, Best Barrier free environment, Best Braille Printing Press, Best Agency for implementing National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation Schemes and New Technological Innovations useful for the differently abled persons. Every year 70 National Awards in 13 categories are given by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
To encourage persons rendering distinguished service for the welfare of the differently abled persons, the following State Awards have been instituted by the Government and distributed on Independence Day and International Day for the Differently abled persons