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Stop calling people with intellectual disabilities mental:

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

An organisation working for persons with disabilities has said that people need to be sensitive and stop calling those with intellectual disabilities as 'mental'.

Today is the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year's theme for the day is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all".

Speaking on the occasion, Javed Abidi, Honorary Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) today said that people needed to stop calling persons with intellectual disabilities as mental.

"For several years, persons with intellectual disabilities have been called mental which must now stop. Being sensitive towards their needs requires massive cultural change," Abidi said.

He said that for Indians, disability has meant only the blind and the wheelchair-bound. He said that medical conditions like muscular dystrophy, leprosy, sickle cell anaemia, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome and dwarfism are not considered.

"When will India discover the neglected disabilities?" he asked.

"Laws and policies are meaningless if our colleges and universities are not accessible, if they are not disabled friendly not just in terms of the built environment (ramps, lifts, toilets) but facilities for blind people, deaf people, and all other disabilities," Abidi said in a statement issued here.

On the occasion, Para-Olympian and Rio Paralympics shot-put silver medallist silver medalist Deepa Malik underlined the importance of family support. She said that people with disabilities should see their abilities beyond their disabilities.

"I grew up in times when there was no cable TV. And having a disability meant more attention and love from my family. The fact that every story ended with and they lived happily ever after meant that whatever happened to me, things would eventually be all right. That's why I was able to focus on my ability beyond my disability," she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 03 2017. 16:50 IST