Govt to redefine disability

Kathmandu, February 1:

With the objective of providing better services, facilities and benefits to the disabled people, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) is making preparations to define disability in a new perspective.

According to the Disability Protection and Welfare Act 2039, there are five types of disabilities. The MoWCSW definition will categorise disabilities into seven forms, including physical disability, visual impairment, hearing impairment, mental disability, multiple disability and other disabilities.

Physical disability encompasses a wide range of disabilities, including muscular dystrophy, disability due to leprosy, rickets, backbone problems and cerebral palsy. While visual and hearing impaired are further divided into sub-categories, mental disability includes mental retardation and mental illnesses. Other disabilities include disabilities related to the heart, the respiratory system, the kidney and blood.

“People suffer from disabilities in varying degrees. The new definition will categorise the disabled people into different groups. They will be provided services, facilities and benefits accordingly,” said spokesperson for the MoWCSW, Shyam Sundar Sharma.

Disability will be measured under four categories, namely completely severe disability, severe disability, disability and simple disability.

A panel comprising the representatives of the MoWCSW and organisations working for the disabled people was set up to redefine disability as per the standard rules of the UN, guidelines of the WHO on disability, Biwako Millennium framework and Disability Protection and Welfare Act 2039, added Sharma.