Disability rights groups seek withdrawal of govt proposal to set up disability studies university

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Disability rights groups have sought withdrawal of a authorities proposal to set up a university for disability studies and rehabilitation sciences, saying it would take them backwards by selling exclusion and segregation as a substitute of inclusion.

Different disability rights groups together with National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People and National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled have written to Shakuntala D Gamlin, secretary of Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, opposing the transfer.

In December 2020, the federal government had proposed to set up a “first of its kind” university masking the complete gamut of disability studies and rehabilitation sciences in an accessible atmosphere.

In a public discover issued on December 24, 2020, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), below the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, had invited feedback from stakeholders on a draft invoice to set up the university.

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“At the outset, we would like to highlight that while the proposed University is one of its kind, it takes the disability sector backwards by promoting exclusion/ segregation rather than inclusion,” the letter mentioned.

“It goes against the progressive nature of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 as also the concept of inclusion advocated by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020,” it mentioned.

“Much emphasis needs to be given on setting up centres/departments of disability studies in existing universities and higher education institutions on the lines of cross-disability and cross-gender approaches,” it added.

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The rights groups mentioned the main focus wants to be laid on growing the quantity of skilled human sources by providing programs that are in keeping with that of NIMHANS/IISC/IITs together with doctoral levels.

These additionally want to have on-line options for supply of programs based mostly on Universal Design of Learning and Reasonable Accommodation as per the RPWD Act, NEP 2020, and Government of India and worldwide tips for digital platforms, they mentioned.

“Disability studies should be made part of the mainstream academic endeavours which the proposed university through its exclusionary approach fails to do,” the letter mentioned.

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It mentioned the draft invoice lacks readability on the precise disability studies by focusing extra on the governance facet of it and likewise deviates from the norms and practices of the upper training system.

“We are also not in agreement with the proposal for running the university in a ‘self-sustaining’ model. To conclude, we would request to kindly withdraw the said Draft Bill,” it mentioned.

The proposed university might be a novel multidisciplinary educational establishment conducting analysis, programmes and programs from the bachelor’s degree onwards to cater to varied disciplines masking the complete gamut of disability studies and rehabilitation sciences in an accessible atmosphere, the DEPwD had mentioned.

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