Special Assistance To Specially Abled

Welfare of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)
In Kerala, a state wide survey of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) was undertaken by the Kerala Social Security Mission in 2015, the first of its kind in India, covering 22 types of disabilities. As per the survey, 7.94 lakh people equivalent to 2.32 percent of the total population of the State are disabled, of whom, females constitute 44.57 percent, SC 10.93 percent and ST 2.15 percent. The highest number of disabled persons is in Malappuram district (12.5 per cent) followed by Thiruvananthapuram (9.72 per cent) and the lowest in Wayanad district (2.91 per cent). Regarding type of disabilities, locomotor disability stands top with 32.89 percent and multiple disabilities stand second 17.31 percent.PwDs often lack access to good quality basic and higher education.
State Policy for Persons with Disabilities
To enhance the standard of living of PwDs with the help of time-bound programmes and action plans of the State, the Government of Kerala enacted the State Policy for Persons with Disabilities. Government of Kerala enacted a policy for PwDs in the year 2015 recognising the necessity and inevitability of including disability dimensions in the development agenda, programmes and action plans of the State. Participation of PwDs in the developmental process, viewing disability as a human rights issue, protection from abuse and creating a positive environment and attitude for inclusive development and empowerment of PwDs are the key strategic focal dimensions of the policy. From being passive beneficiaries, the disabled have to be considered as equal partners and contributors to development.To read the policy: Click here
Most of the schemes and programmes to enhance the standard of living of PwDs are implemented through the State government departments and agencies like Directorate of Social Justice, Social Security Mission, Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation etc.
Programmes and Schemes for Differently-abled
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 hasdecided 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.
  • Prevention
  • Screening & Early Detection
  • Early Intervention
  • Education
  • 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 otoacoustic emission (OAE) Screeners to all maternity hospitals in Government 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.


Differently-abled is often described in terms of lack of normal functioning of physical, mental or psychological processes. It is also defined as learning difficulties or difficulties in adjusting socially, which interfaces with a person's normal growth and development.  A disabled child has been defined as one who is unable to ensure by himself, wholly or partially the necessities of a normal individual or social life including work as a result of deficiency whether congenital or not in his physical or mental capabilities.


Persons having any of the disabilities, namely, visual, communication (hearing and/or speech) and locomotor, will be considered physically disabled. More and more people are now convinced that "disabled" is not the right term to describe people who are challenged. Many now prefer using the term "differently abled".


Who are differently-abled persons?

As per the provisions of the Persons with Disability (PWD) Act it means:-

  • Blindness
  • Low vision
  • Leprosy cured persons
  • Hearing impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
  • Loco motor Disability
  • Dwarfism
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Mental illness
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Chronic Neurological Conditions
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Speech and Language disability
  • Thalassemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Sickle Cell disease
  • Multiple Disabilities including deaf blindness
  • Acid Attack victim
  • Parkinson's disease

a.National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH)

NISH is a premier institute in the area of disability and declared as a National University for Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Sciences. The institute was set upto providean excellent environment for pursuit of higher studies for people with disabilities. The facilities of the NISH include audiological evaluation, speech languages rehabilitation, pre-school and parent guidance programme, ENT services, psychological services, speech therapy, degree courses for persons with hearing impairment, graduate and post graduate programmes in human resource development, and research activities.


b.Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation

The Corporation provides economic empowerment and rehabilitation to the persons with disabilities. During 2015-16, the Corporation supplied aids and appliances to 1658 differently-abled persons under ADIP scheme of Government of India and distributed 500 motorised scooters (General category: 384, SC category: 116) under the plan scheme of Government of Kerala. Equipment like tricycle, wheelchairand hearing aid, were distributed to 3928 differently-abled persons and issued motorized tricycle subsidy at the rate of 10000/- to 47 such persons. Also, the Corporation distributed loans to 123 disabled persons for self-employment from the funding provided by National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation. In addition, the Corporation itself distributed bank loan subsidy to 310 differently-abled persons across the state for self-employment. The Corporation also assisted 196 children through the fixed deposit scheme (15,000/- for male and 20,000/- for female) for severely disabled children. Among them, 101 were male and 95 were female children.


c.State Commissionerate for Persons with Disabilities

The State Commissionerate was set up as per the Persons with Disabilities Act (PwD Act) enacted by the Government of India in 1995. Co-ordinating the programmes implemented by different departments and monitoring the utilization of funds for the benefit of the disabled in the State are the functions of the Commissionerate. The other functions of the Commissionerate are conducting awareness camps, redressal of the complaints of disabled personsand inspection of institutions for disabled.


d.National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NIPMR)

NIPMR is an institute under Department of Social Justice dedicated to the assessment and therapy of children and adults with multiple disabilities especially Cerebral Palsy and other associated disorders. An average of 20 clients mostly children are attending the speech therapy sessions under the Audiology and Speech Language Pathology department. The persons affected with stroke and accidents are also to be treated with available facilities in NIPMR. Institute for Cognitive and Communicative Disorders and Neuro Sciences (ICCONS) and Child Development Centre are the other major institutions working in this area. The particulars of these institutions are given in the chapter of Medical and Public Health.


Grant-in-aid to voluntary organisations running homes for the differently-abled 

Under this Scheme, financial assistance is given to Voluntary organization running homes for the physically handicapped persons. The assistance given to organization @ Rs.200/- per inmates.  The number of inmates in an institution should be approved by Government.  During the year 2009-10 the total budget allotment was Rs.2.66 lakhs and Rs.2,29,367/- was utilized for that purpose.


Persons with disabilities related - Policies / Acts / Rules

a. Kerala State Policy for Persons with Disabilities-2015

b. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

c. The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999

d. National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Rules, 2000


Awards to differently-abled Persons

1.National Award for the Best Disabled Employees and Institutions


Central Government


There are 10 awards to employees working in Govt./public/private sector and self employed handicapped persons can apply.  Awards are also given to best placement offices/agencies/institutions, best welfare institutions for handicapped, research activities for welfare of handicapped, best local level committees handicapped children and individuals who got personal achievements.


Employees in Govt./public/ private sectors, self employed handicapped, individuals doing welfare for handicapped, welfare institutions, placement agency/ offices/institutions, handicapped children and individuals who got personal achievements.


Cash Award and Citation

The awards are given to the following categories:

1)    Award to employees / self employed person with disabilities and outstanding employees/placement offices/agencies of person with disabilities.
2)    Awards to individuals and institutions having done outstanding work for the cause of the person with disabilities.
3)    Awards for the creation of barrier-free environment for the person with disabilities.
4)    Awards for the best district doing rehabilitation work for the person with disabilities.
5)    Awards for the best technological innovation for the welfare for the person with disabilities.
6)    Role model awards to persons with disabilities.
7)    Award for the best local level Committees of National Trust.
8)    Awards for the best creative adult persons and children with disabilities and 
9)    Award for the best State Channelising Agency (SCA) of the National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC).

Eligibility criteria

Employees should be recommended by head of the offices.  The welfare institutions working for 10 years and above can apply.  For placement offices no. of handicapped employees (especially women) appointed within 5 years is considered.

How to avail

The application form is obtained from concerned District Social Justice Offices.  They must fill the form completely and submit to these offices with required details within the last date given according to Central Govt. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (Application form filled in English only).

During the year 2009-10 eleven applications were recommended for the National Award.  


2.State Award to Best Employees, Employers and Institutions for Differently-abled




There are total 18 awards for physically handicapped employees.  There are 2 awards each for blind, deaf, locomotor disabled employees for government sector, private sector and public sector.  One awards each for best placement employers in government, private and public sector.  One award is given each for welfare institutions for handicapped in the different categories of blind, deaf, locomotor and mentally retarded.


Permanent handicapped employees working in public, private and government sectors, Best placement agencies (govt., private & public) and handicapped welfare institutions.


Best-Handicapped employees gets Rs.10,000/- Certificate and institutions get Rs.5000/- and certificate.

Eligibility criteria

Central/State/Public/Private Sector employees who are handicapped can apply.  A Central/State/Public Sector institution which has 2% of total employees handicapped can apply.  Welfare institutions for handicapped for blind, deaf and dump, locomotor disability and mental retardation can apply.
Application of handicapped employees must be recommended by the head of the office.  Medical certificate, photo to prove disability should be along with the application.  Employees and institution who got award once are not encouraged.

How to avail

The application forms are obtained from District Social Justice Officers.  Applicant must fill it completely and submit to their offices with concerned details within the last date published by Social Justice Department each year. (must fill in English only)


3.Rules for making selection of candidates for the State Awards for Outstanding Employers and the most efficient Physically Handicapped Employees  and Application Form


Grant in Aid to NGOs - Central Scheme

1.Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase or / Fitting Aids and Appliances

The main objective of the scheme is to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential.Types of AIDs/Appliances to be provided are locomotive disabled, mentally disabled, hearing disabled , visually disabled etc.


Eligibility Criteria

1)He/she should be an Indian citizen of any age

2Should be certified by a Medical Practitioner that he/she is disabled and fit to use prescribed aid/appliance.

3Person who is employed/self-employed or getting pension and whose monthly income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 10,000/- per month

4)In case of dependents, the income of parents/guardians should not exceed Rs. 10,000/- per month

5)Person who have not received assistance from the Government, local bodies and NGO's during the last three years for the same purpose.

However, for children below 12 years for age this limit would be 1 year


Institutions under ADIP Scheme

1.NISH, Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram.

2.Kerala State Handicapped Corporation, Thiruvananthapuram.

3.Tropical Health Foundation of India, Thrissur


The quantum of assistance and income limit under the ADIP scheme is as follows:

Total Income

 Amount of Assistance

Up to Rs. 6,500/- per month 

Full cost of aid/appliance

Rs. 6,501 to Rs. 10,000 per month 

50% of the cost of aid/appliances


2.Grant – in – aid under the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme to promote Voluntary Action for Persons with Disabilities (Revised DDRS Scheme)

Under Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS), grant-in-aid is provided to the Non-Governmental Organizations for running projects such as Special Schools for persons suffering from visual, hearing, orthopedic and mental disability.


The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is administering DDRS scheme and providing grants in-aid to NGOs for the projects related to

1.Vocational Training Centres

2.Sheltered Workshops

3.Special schools for the persons with disabilities

4.Project for Cerebral Palsied Children

5.Project for Pre-School and Early Intervention and Training

6.Home based Rehabilitation program/Home Management Programme

7.Project for Rehabilitation of Leprosy Cured Persons (LCPs)

8.Project relating to Survey, Identification, Awareness and Sensitization

9.Project for Community Based Rehabilitation

10.Project for Human Resource Development

11.Seminars/Workshops/Rural Camps

12.Project for Legal Literacy, including Legal Counseling, Legal Aid and Analysis and Evaluation of Existing Laws.

13.Environment Friendly and Eco-Promotive Projects for the Handicapped

14.Grant for Purchase of Vehicle

15.Construction of Building

16.Grant for Computer

17.Project for Low Vision Centres

18.Half Way Home for Psycho-Social Rehabilitation of Treated and Controlled Mentally Persons.

19.District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) The maximum level of support could be up to 90% of the eligible amount of grant for the project.


a.Home for Mentally Deficient Children

This home is meant for providing special education, maintenance and rehabilitation to mentally deficient children.  One home is only maintained at Kozhikode.  Sanctioned strength is 50. Age group given admission- 4-16 yrs.


b.Care Home for Disabled Children

These homes have been set up to offer care, protection and rehabilitation to the differently-abled  children.  Two such homes exist at Alappuzha and Thalassery.


c.Home for Physically Handicapped

This home is set up to offer protection and rehabilitation to the differently-abled  men and women. Two such homes exist for women at Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. One such home exists for men at Kozhikode.


d.Home for Mentally Challenged Persons (PrathyasaBhavan)

These homes are set up to care and rehabilitate mentally challenged women above 18, One home exists at Thrissur.


e.Custodial Care Home for Men (PratheekshaBhavan)

This home is set up for the rehabilitation of mentally challenged men above age of 18. One such institution exists at Malappuram.



These homes have been set up to offer care, rehabilitation to the cured mentally ill patients.  Six of them exist.  For women it exists at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Kozhikode.  For men it exists at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode.

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