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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Centre clears proposals for visually handicapped, disabled

 The government today gave its nod to a proposal to provide accessible mobile phones and laptops to visually impaired students and enhance income eligibility ceiling for the disabled to help them get more concession and subsidy in purchase and fittings of aids and appliances. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal of the Department of Disability Affairs to provide accessible mobile phone to visually impaired students of 18 years and above only once in five years and to provide laptop, Braille Note Taker and Brailler to school-going disabled students (10th and above) once in 10 years.

New hope. AFP

It also decided to bring certain modifications and revision of cost norms in the Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP Scheme). The changes will be effective from 1 April 2014. As per the modifications, the income eligibility ceiling for 100 percent concession in purchase of such fittings has been increased from the existing Rs 6,500 per month to Rs 15,000 per month and for a 50 percent concession from Rs 15,001 to Rs 20,000 per month, a government release said. The cost ceiling for aids/appliances has been revised from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 for single disability and from Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 for students with disabilities. The ceiling of cost of medical/surgical correction which presently ranges from Rs 500 to Rs 3,000 has also been revised. It will be now Rs 1,000 for hearing and speech-impaired, the double of what it was earlier at Rs 500 and for visually disabled it has been doubled to Rs 2,000.

The proposal also seeks to enhance the extent of subsidy for motorized tricycles and wheelchairs from the present Rs 6,000 to Rs 25,000 for severely disabled and for locomotor disabilities such as quadriplegic (SCI), muscular dystrophy, stroke, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia and any other person with similar conditions where either three/four limbs or one half of the body are severely impaired. This will be provided to persons of 18 years and above, once in 10 years. There is also a provision for cochlear implant for 500 children per year with hearing disability under the scheme, with a ceiling of Rs 6 lakh per unit. Those earning less than Rs 15,000 per month will be eligible for 100 per cent concession while those earning between Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,001 will get 50 percent concession.

The ADIP Scheme was launched in 1981 with the objective of providing durable/sophisticated and scientifically manufactured modern, standard aids and appliances to promote physical/social and psychological rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential. The scheme was revised last in 2005.

Source : First Post India , 28th Feb 2014

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