Minutes for Sub-Group Meeting on Accessibility

Chapter on Accessibility Based on Article 9, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

People with disabilities must enjoy the same right to live independently within the community and near their families. They must have same rights to participate fully in all aspects of life and have access to quality assistive devices to enable this. All appropriate governments should take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to use of consumer appliances, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. They must also ensure access to mobility devices and assistive technology to enable full participation of persons with disabilities. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to,

  1. the infrastructure accessibility to the built environment that includes but are not restricted to all public buildings, roads, pedestrian environments and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, health and medical facilities, banking, postal, legal and insurance facilities, recreational areas, heritage buildings and workplaces;
  2. Transportation System that include Road based transport, personal mobility, aviation, railways and maritime.
  3. Providers of services that may includes all organizations or individuals; private or public; who provide any service to the public
  4. Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.
  5. Designers and manufacturers of consumer products designed for use by public.
  6. Mobility and communication aids

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Infrastricture Accessibility

All appropriate governments shall take appropriate measures:

  1. To develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and design guidelines for both urban and rural areas within a period of 1 year, that are updated after every 2 years, for infrastructural accessibility that will be applicable to all and not restricted to
    1. the public sector
    2. Private sector that offer facilities and services to the public
    3. All such public or private infrastructure that are sanctioned by the government
    4. All funding for developmental projects and processes must have a proportionate accessibility budget
    5. All privately owned built infrastructural development meant for sale or to lease.
    6. All infrastructure development projects and programmes undertaken by the Ministry of Urban development and the Ministry of Rural Development along with all autonomous bodies under its purview and control
    7. All infrastructures built, maintained and renovated by the State Municipal Corporations.
    8. All autonomous bodies under the purview/control of the Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Rural Development involved with infrastructure development, refurbishment and maintenance throughout the country.
    9. All post disaster construction and renovation work.
    10. External pedestrian environment

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    1. the Minimum Standards and design guidelines will be applicable to:
      1. All new buildings from the day this Act comes into force
      2. All existing building must comply to these within a period of 3 years
    2. In case of non compliance there is a punitive compensation to be paid by building owner apart from being jailed.
    3. For building where compliance may not be fully possible, the onus will be on the building owner to seek permission for non compliance from the appropriate government.
    4. 3% of housing in all housing complexes must have basic accessible housing design features and be preferentially allotted to people with disabilities
    5. In case of a leased accommodation:
      1. For buildings used for commercial, social, political or cultural purposes:
        1. The building owner will be responsible to ensure that accessibility is complied to in parts of the building that are of common use.
        2. Internal accessibility of various services provided within a leased premises, will be the responsibility of the person who takes the space on lease to make compliant.
        3. A building owner cannot deny permission to make infrastructure compliant to accessibility standards.
      2. For hostels and private dwellings:
        1. in case of a hostel facility privately/publicly owned, denying accommodation to a disabled person on the pretext of inaccessibility will be considered unlawful and amount to discrimination.
        2. in case of housing complexes, the complex developers will be responsible to ensure that all common use areas comply with Accessibility standards.
        3. Incentives may be given to house owners by way of reduction in electricity bills, house tax etc who lease out premises to persons with disabilities for residential or business purposes.
  2. All new policies and legislations announced by the Ministry of Urban Development, the Ministry of Rural Development and all autonomous bodies under the purview/control of the said ministries must be inclusive and shall consider beside others, infrastructural accessibility needs of persons with disabilities.
  3. Set up a National Institute of Universal Design within three years of enactment of this Act, that works for but is not restricted to - capacity building, research, policy development and monitoring of Infrastructure accessibility at Central level.
    1. Set up State and District level Resource Centres that function under a National Institute of Universal Design. The activities of these centers will include but are not restricted to technical training, research and monitoring at the State and District level respectively
  4. To ensure quality, have a well defined system for professional registering of persons working in the field of infrastructure accessibility within three years of enactment of this Act, based on their technical qualifications such as but not restricted to:
    1. Access Consultants
    2. Access Auditors
    3. Peer advisors
    4. Other categories that may include contractors, masons, interior designers etc.
  5. Work on providing FAR and/or tax relaxations to building owners for providing accessibility retrofitting accessibility into their infrastructure for a specified time frame (timeframe may be same as (a.1.b))
  6. Develop schemes and programmes to provide aid and/or soft loan to individuals or organizations wanting to improve access in their homes or work environment respectively.
  7. The state shall ensure that an appropriate mechanism is in place to implement and monitor the above said provisions within one year of enactment of this law. Also identify officers in various ministries involved who would be responsible for ensuring compliance within six months of enactment of this law.
  8. Private establishment in the Indian Territory offering public services shall not reserved the right to admission on the basis of disability.
  9. State shall ensure that every establishment whether public or private puts in mechanism to ensure safe passage of disabled people during times of emergency and shall developed norms or rules or codes for a licensing agencies to accord sanctions to conforming private & public establishments within a period of one year of enactment of this act.

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Transport Accessibility

All appropriate governments shall take appropriate measures:

  1. To develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and design guidelines, within a period of one year of enactment of this law that are updated after a specified period, for transport accessibility with separate standards for:
    1. Road based transport including
      1. Bus design and bus stations
      2. Coach Design and stations
      3. Taxi design and taxi stations
    2. Aviation
      1. Plane design and airports
    3. Railways
      1. Railway coaches and train stations
      2. Metro cars and stations
      3. Trams and tram stations
    4. Pedestrian infrastructure
    5. Rural public transport system
  2. The various minimum standards and design guidelines will be applicable:
    1. All companies whether public or private who are involved with the designing and manufacture of any of the public transport vehicles/vessels.
    2. Appropriate ministries to ensure accessible transport interchange areas.
  3. All appropriate Ministries are required to prepare, a 5 yearly action plan within three months of this Act being enforced, on how they will provide, improve, refurbish or maintaining public transport in all classes and categories of travel that is accessible to PWD. The action plan will include detailed strategy of how they plan to refurbish/ replace the existing rolling stock of busses, trains, etc within the deadlines set.
  4. Set up a National Institute of Universal Design within a period of three years of enactment of this Act, that works for but is not restricted to - capacity building, research, policy development and monitoring of transport accessibility at Central level.
    1. Set up State and District level Resource Centres that function under a National Institute of Universal Design. The activities of these centres will include but not be restricted to technical training, research and monitoring at the State and District level respectively.
  5. Provide opportunities for sdisability sensitization trainings' for all staff involved with assisting disabled travelers.
  6. Additionally the appropriate Ministries will ensure that all their policies are inclusive in nature and shall consider beside others, transport accessibility needs of persons with disabilities.
  7. All State Governments in the absence of accessible transport system complying to the Minimum Standards and Design Guidelines, to ensure a monthly mobility allowance to persons with disability to travel to:
    1. work (both private and public sector)
    2. education (both private and public educational institutes)
    3. health (both private and public health institutes)
    4. this allowance must be adequate for the disabled individual to drive his/her own vehicle or pay a reasonable fare if using a rented vehicle.
  8. All appropriate governments to develop schemes and programmes to encourage personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost.
  9. Work on providing incentives and concessions to companies researching and producing accessible personal transport vehicles.
  10. Encourage and provide incentives and concessions to individuals and organizations wanting to start door to door accessible transport services for the disabled.
  11. Ensure that two wheeler drivers who retrofit their two wheelers like adding side cars are given license to drive and that their adapted vehicles are registered with transport authorities.
  12. The state shall ensure that an appropriate mechanism is in place to implement and monitor the above said provisions within one year of enactment of this law. Also identify officers in various ministries involved who would be responsible for ensuring compliance within six months of enactment of this law.

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Access to Services

Considering that only by making infrastructure accessible, services not always become accessible to disabled persons, it will be considered discriminatory if a disabled person is unable to use any service that available to the general public.

  1. Appropriate governments shall ensure that all services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs. The meaning of services to be as provided in the end of this chapter. These would include but not be restricted to:
    1. All publicly owned services
    2. All services sanctioned by the Government
  2. All appropriate Governments must ensure that all service providers have in public domain, have information about procedures laid out on how are they are making their services more accessible to ensure a disabled people does not face undue hardships in using the service. These procedures may include but not be restricted to:
    1. To provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;
    2. To promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
    3. Provision of live / human assistance at public places to be made available at transport interchanges and other spaces to deal with space disorientation and anxiety of addressing strangers experienced by persons living with mental illness and other persons with disabilities experiencing space disorientation.
    4. To provide online and telephone booking
    5. providing home delivery facilities
  3. Appropriate governments to set timeframes within three months of this Act being enforced, on by when the service providers must have procedures and systems laid down and implemented on making their service more accessible to disabled people.
  4. All appropriate governments to ensure that all announcements inviting public response must be accessible to all people with disabilities. These announcements may include - announcements made for procurement, employment, public health, disaster preparedness etc.
  5. All information in the public domain including government information, which can be made available to disabled, should be provided in accessible formats.
  6. The appropriate government shall create a panel of professional sign language interpreters in every district. The panel will contain trained interpreters whose duty it shall be to provide interpretation services for the hearing and speech impaired whenever called upon.
  7. Video recordings of sign language interpreters at courts and police stations that the same may be reproduced at later stage for verification purposes.
  8. Training of care givers and other stakeholders in area such as but not limited to schools, hospitals, hostels, juvenile centers, jails, shelters etc.
  9. Private establishment in the Indian Territory offering public services shall not deny services offered on the basis of disability.
  10. The state shall ensure that an appropriate mechanism is in place to implement and monitor the above said provisions within one year of enactment of this law. Also identify officers in various ministries involved who would be responsible for ensuring compliance within six months of enactment of this law.

Access to Information and Communication Technology

All appropriate governments to take measures:

  1. To ensure access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems including Alternative and Augmentative Communication devices and the Internet at affordable cost both in urban and rural areas;
  2. To lay timeframes within three months of enforcement of the Act, by when all Indian websites run publicly or privately are made compliant to W3C web accessibility standards
  3. To promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.
  4. Accessibility to published material should be accorded precedence over intellectual property rights and all material in public domain can be converted to a text and other accessible formats including daisy format for further conversion to Braille, audio etc. Amend Copyright Act.
  5. Set up a national institute of Universal Design who's responsibilities shall include but not restricted to capacity building, research, policy development and monitoring of alternative and augmentative modes of communication and devices used for the same.
    1. Set up state and district level resource centers that functions under the national institute for AAC. The activity of these centers will include but not restricted to technical training, research and monitoring at state and district level respectively.
  6. The law should provide for designing of Currency notes and coins in such a way that persons with disabilities are able to identify the denomination with ease.
  7. Ensure Access to Films and Documentaries by:
  8. The state shall ensure that an appropriate mechanism is in place to implement and monitor the above said provisions within one year of enactment of this law. Also identify officers in various ministries involved who would be responsible for ensuring compliance within six months of enactment of this law.

Access to Services

Considering that only by making infrastructure accessible, services not always become accessible to disabled persons, it will be considered discriminatory if a disabled person is unable to use any service that available to the general public.

  1. Appropriate governments shall ensure that all services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs. The meaning of services to be as provided in the end of this chapter. These would include but not be restricted to:
    1. All publicly owned services
    2. All services sanctioned by the Government
  2. All appropriate Governments must ensure that all service providers have in public domain, have information about procedures laid out on how are they are making their services more accessible to ensure a disabled people does not face undue hardships in using the service. These procedures may include but not be restricted to:
    1. To provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;
    2. To promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
    3. Provision of live / human assistance at public places to be made available at transport interchanges and other spaces to deal with space disorientation and anxiety of addressing strangers experienced by persons living with mental illness and other persons with disabilities experiencing space disorientation.
    4. To provide online and telephone booking
    5. providing home delivery facilities
  3. Appropriate governments to set timeframes within three months of this Act being enforced, on by when the service providers must have procedures and systems laid down and implemented on making their service more accessible to disabled people.
  4. All appropriate governments to ensure that all announcements inviting public response must be accessible to all people with disabilities. These announcements may include - announcements made for procurement, employment, public health, disaster preparedness etc.
  5. All information in the public domain including government information, which can be made available to disabled, should be provided in accessible formats.
  6. The appropriate government shall create a panel of professional sign language interpreters in every district. The panel will contain trained interpreters whose duty it shall be to provide interpretation services for the hearing and speech impaired whenever called upon.
  7. Video recordings of sign language interpreters at courts and police stations that the same may be reproduced at later stage for verification purposes.
  8. Training of care givers and other stakeholders in area such as but not limited to schools, hospitals, hostels, juvenile centers, jails, shelters etc.
  9. Private establishment in the Indian Territory offering public services shall not deny services offered on the basis of disability.
  10. The state shall ensure that an appropriate mechanism is in place to implement and monitor the above said provisions within one year of enactment of this law. Also identify officers in various ministries involved who would be responsible for ensuring compliance within six months of enactment of this law.

Access to Information and Communication Technology

All appropriate governments to take measures:

  1. To ensure access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems including Alternative and Augmentative Communication devices and the Internet at affordable cost both in urban and rural areas;
  2. To lay timeframes within three months of enforcement of the Act, by when all Indian websites run publicly or privately are made compliant to W3C web accessibility standards
  3. To promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.
  4. Accessibility to published material should be accorded precedence over intellectual property rights and all material in public domain can be converted to a text and other accessible formats including daisy format for further conversion to Braille, audio etc. Amend Copyright Act.
  5. Set up a national institute of Universal Design who’s responsibilities shall include but not restricted to capacity building, research, policy development and monitoring of alternative and augmentative modes of communication and devices used for the same.
    1. Set up state and district level resource centers that functions under the national institute for AAC. The activity of these centers will include but not restricted to technical training, research and monitoring at state and district level respectively.
  6. The law should provide for designing of Currency notes and coins in such a way that persons with disabilities are able to identify the denomination with ease.
  7. Ensure Access to Films and Documentaries by:
    1. The new law to provide for audio description of films, documentaries and electronic visual media including private television broadcasters to provide audio description of at least 20% of their programming with audio description. This mandate should be applicable to channels which reach out to at least % of the population so as to increase the accessibility of Media for persons with blindness or low vision to access such films and documentaries.
    2. Such films and documentaries to also have sign language interpretation and close captioning of persons with hearing impairments.
    3. (Refer British Broadcasting Act and British Communication Act)
  8. The state shall ensure that an appropriate mechanism is in place to implement and monitor the above said provisions within one year of enactment of this law. Also identify officers in various ministries involved who would be responsible for ensuring compliance within six months of enactment of this law.

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Access to Consumer Products

  1. All appropriate governments would take appropriate steps:
    1. To promote accessible design, development, production and distribution of universally designed consumer products for general use.
    2. Provide exemptions to manufactures of these products

Access to Mobility and Communication AIDS

All appropriate governments:

  1. To facilitate access by persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including by making them available at affordable cost both in rural and urban areas;
  2. Aids and appliances distributed by the government to persons with disabilities under schemes should include but not restricted to decoders for television sets in order to enable access to captions on television. To also include, amongst others, head pointers, buzzers, adapted keyboards, advance screen reading softwares, daisy recorders, Braille displays and Braille note and to be made available at subsidized rates.
  3. To provide training in mobility skills to persons with disabilities and to specialist staff working with persons with disabilities;
  4. To ensure entities that produce mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies to take into account all aspects of mobility for persons with disabilities living in urban areas and also in rural areas
  5. BIS certification of quality of all mobility aids and appliances and provisions for repairs and after sales service to be mandatory on manufacturers.
  6. The state shall ensure that an appropriate mechanism is in place to implement and monitor the above said provisions within one year of enactment of this law. Also identify officers in various ministries involved who would be responsible for ensuring compliance within six months of enactment of this law.

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Definitions

Public Spaces - includes buildings or spaces that provide any facility or service open to general public that may be owned by the government or privately owned.

Services may includes:

  1. Services relating to banking, insurance, superannuation and the provision of grants, loans, credit or finance; or
  2. Services relating to entertainment, recreation or refreshment; or
  3. Services relating to transport or travel; or
  4. Services relating to telecommunications; or
  5. Services relating to broadcasting
  6. Services of the kind provided by the members of any profession or trade; or
  7. Services of the kind provided by a government, a government authority or a local government body.

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