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Women, Disability and Human Rights - III

by Yogesh Gupta and Savita Pande

Where do we go from here?

To improve the lives of the disabled in general and disabled women in particular, a beginning should be made in the field of everyday life. A host of technical devices are available to make the life of the disabled easier.

Devices - such as the Wheelchair, braces, crutches, canes and shower seats- called 'durable medical equipment' are designed to aid disabled people in performing necessary functions like moving around, personal care, etc.  In addition items such as adapted tools and utensils, Braille writer, adopted telecommunication devices, and modified computers can significantly increase the health, independence, mobility, productivity, and quality of life of women with disabilities.

India has a long way to go in developing even higher or more sophisticated technical or electronic devices. However, a beginning can be made by providing simpler devices like hearing aid, to a larger mass of disabled people.

This paper has discussed educational capabilities and employment opportunities in greater detail, but at no stage is it felt that other areas have shown satisfactory progress. The authors feel that the problem of violence against women in general is very severe and the case is particularly bad in the context of women with disabilities. It has been reported disabled women, are subjected to violence by people they know! This in itself poses a serious challenge to them in all places including where they study or are employed.

The ultimate aim should be offering services to support independent living. In order to live independently, to fulfil family responsibilities, and to maintain their health, women with significant disabilities may need personal assistance, mobility assistance, and in some cases household support, monitoring or supervision. Assistance should be available in different settings - home, school, work, and community - and should support a whole range of activities including religious and political.

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