The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India released a draft of an important manual — ‘Accessibility Standards for Healthcare of Persons With Disabilities’ inviting comments and recommendations from civil society, particularly persons with disabilities.
Rising Flame organised a national consultation meeting on June 27 2022, to receive cross disability feedback on the accessibility guidelines and draft a list of recommendations from disability rights activists, experts, organisations of persons with disabilities, scholars, lawyers and more.
To ensure nondiscrimination as a legal and constitutional right, larger systemic and structural changes need to be facilitated and instituted. This is why the ‘Accessibility Standards for Healthcare’ manual is extremely important. We took the opportunity to reiterate that the manual MUST be representative and inclusive of all 21 disabilities recognised in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities legislation and must have a nuanced definition of accessibility, as well as more robust standards in implementing it.
We shared our concerns regarding the inclusion of all disabled people, but especially those marginalised by gender, class and belonging to stigmatised disabilities. As part of this consultation, we had 32 participants from across the country. We received over 60 endorsements from individuals, organisations, educational institutions, networks, and disability groups from across the country.
You can read our recommendations here.