Handicapped People Can No Longer be Called Deaf, Mute or Blind: LHC

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The Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance 1981, will be amended, following a ruling by the Lahore High Court.

According to the new amendment, differently abled people will no longer be referred to as andha/andhi (blind), goonga/goongi (mute), behra/behri (deaf) or langra/langri (lame) in offices.

These people will now be categorized as “special persons” or “visually impaired”, for those upon whom the term applies.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court (LHC) passed the ruling on Tuesday after he noticed a petition by Barrister Asfand Khan Tareen, who pointed out interference with employment opportunities for the afflicted: handicapped men and women are not allowed to work in offices.

The High Court ordered the Law Ministry and federal and Punjab governments to respond. Tariq Ismail, Social Welfare Department’s legal representative, has conveyed his intentions to comply.

Anticipated Spillover Effect

Reports from 2015 registered 1.37 million handicapped women, but the total number is indefinite (although local sources suggest it to be 0.48% of the total population).

The economic participation of this group has been noticed for the first time in this petition.

It is aimed at anti-discriminatory action, and the general public hopes it will result in a spill-over towards all institutions and practices.

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