In an effort to improve the employment opportunities for people with disabilities, Government of India has spelled out rules for people with learning disabilities. After the nine months of enactment of Right of Persons with Disabilities Act in April 2017, the Centre has opened government jobs to differently abled with learning disabilities, autism, and victims of acid attacks. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has framed rules for reserving, advertising and filling up of government vacancies across all groups and directed all ministries to follow them starting this year.
According to the Act, the reservation rule specify a 1% reservation for differently abled with low vision and blindness, another 1% for deaf and hard of hearing, 1% for locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy and 1% for autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness. If a person has multiple disabilities, he will compete with persons in the third category with intellectual disabilities.
Though the recent amendments and the rules are undoubtedly appreciable and will definately help in improving the current employment situation of persons with disabilities. However, if one would like to know the current status of employment among persons with a disability then, unfortunately, in India, there are no regular studies or surveys conducted that measures or captures the employment data of persons with disability. The recent data that delves into this space is Census 2011. While some employers have recognized the potential that people with disability can bring to the table, several others still have concerns and doubts that prevent them from tapping into this vast pool of resources.
One of the prominent reasons behind the significant level of unemployment among persons with disabilities is the massive gap in literacy level. According to Census 2011, 45% of India’s disabled population is illiterate, and the dropout rates for physically challenged students are equally high.