The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes that disability arises from the combination of impairments and barriers that "hinder full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others". The impairments can include "long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments" whilst the barriers can be attitudinal or environmental. Disability has long been regarded as a social issue, requiring social responses. A person with disability may need assistance - formal or informal - to fully participate in society.
While acknowledging that the initiative of the State in the past have not had a significant impact either in prevention of disabilities or in early intervention and rehabilitation the Kerala State Government has decided to start a new initiative “State Initiative on Disability - Prevention, Detection, Early Intervention, Education, Employment and Rehabilitation”. Government has very specifically directed that this initiative is to “be implemented in the Mission mode by Department of Social Justice with the active involvement of the Department of Healthand Department of Education”. The scheme has the following significant components as integral part of the initiative.
- Screening & Early Detection
- Early Intervention
- Employment & Rehabilitation
Action Plan for First Phase :
- Rubella & MMR Vaccination : To prevent various disabilities including mental retardation, deafness and visual impairment.
- Universal Hearing Screening : To provide Oto Accostic Emission (OAE) Screeners to all maternity hospitals in Govt sector for ensuring hearing screening to all new born babies.
- District Early Intervention Centres : To establish 14 District Early Intervention Centres in Kerala State to detect and intervene development delay/disabilities at early stage. These Centres will provide all kinds of assessments and therapies required for the children with development delay/disabilities.
- Training for Anganwady Workers : To impart training programmes for Anganwady Workers for early detection of development delay/disabilities at grass root level.
- Human Resource Development : To design various Courses/Programmes/Trainings in the area of disability to augment capacity building.