Part I: More definitions

This week, we continue looking at some of the key definitions of certain terms used in the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Bill, as follows:

·         Government – refers to all the three branches: The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary whose functions are enshrined in this Bill respectively.
·         Impairment – means any loss or limitations of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function.
·         Institution – means land, buildings or other premises in which an organization carries on work for the empowerment of persons with disabilities, and includes premises where persons with disabilities are supported by such organization.
·         Inclusive Education – refers to the process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities and reducing exclusion within and from education.  It involves changes and modifications in content, approaches, structures and strategies, with a common vision which covers all children of the appropriate age range and a conviction that it is the responsibility of the regular system to educate all children.
·         “Minister” means the Minister responsible for disability affairs;
·         NACCODI – This is an abbreviation for National Advisory and Coordinating Committee on Disability Issues. It refers to a Committee comprising several stakeholders at Principal Secretary or Chief Executive level which shall be established under the Bill, when enacted, to advise and coordinate disability mainstreaming.
·         Qualified individual with a disability – means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.
·         Reasonable accommodation – Means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to person with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
·         Rehabilitation – means a goal-oriented process aimed at enabling a person with disability impairment to reach an optimum mental, physical and or social functional level, thus providing him/her with the tools to improve his/her own life.
·         Special Needs Education – means a system for providing a conducive environment for learners who may not benefit much from the regular education system
·         Society for all – means an environment where all persons have equal opportunities to participate and realize their potentials and goals in life.
·         Social barriers – means the characteristics of institutions whether legal, economic, cultural, recreational or other, any human group, community, or society which limit the fullest possible participation of persons with disabilities in the life of the community.  Social barriers include negative attitudes which tend to single out and exclude persons with disabilities and which distort roles and inter-personal relationship.