Definition of Handicaps – Degree and Extent of Disability

Relief and Welfare Department (Welfare)
Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata – 700 001

No. 4080-SW the 27th September, 1989


In pursuance of the guidelines given by the Government of India, it has been decided to introduce a set of uniform definitions of the handicapped in this State and to issue Identity Cards to those who will be declared handicapped in terms of the said definitions so that they can fully avail of the various facilities and concessions without going through any cumbersome procedure.

The Ministry of Welfare, Govt. of India have notified the definitions of the handicapped and issued guidelines in its Notification No. 4-2/83 HW, III dt. 6.8.86 for adoption of the said definitions throughout the country.

Now, therefore, the Governor has been pleased to adopt with immediate effect the definitions of the following four categories of handicapped as in the aforesaid Govt. of India Notification in declaring a person as handicapped for the purpose of availing of the various facilities/ concessions already earmarked or to be done so in future for those persons:-

1) Visually Handicaps

2) Locomotor Handicaps

3) Speech and Hearing handicaps

4) Mental handicaps.

2. Each of the aforesaid categories of the handicapped persons has been classified into the following Four groups:-

Degree and extent of disability

1. Mild Less than 40%

2. Moderate 40% and above

3. Severe 75% and above

4. Profound /Total 100%

It has been decided that no facilities/concessions will be admissible to the mild group of handicaps.

It has further been decided that only those disabled persons who fall under the category permanent disability, as defined in the said notification will be eligible for the facilities/concessions available for handicapped persons. A one eyed person will not be treated as handicapped.

3. For declaring a person handicapped Authority will be a Medical Board at the district level. The Board will comprise of the Chief Medical Officer of Health/ Sub-divisional Medical Officer of Health in the district and another expert in the specified field ophthalmic Surgeon in case of visual handicap; either an ENT Surgeon or an Audiologist in case of speech and hearing handicaps, and Orthopaedic Surgeon or specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in case of Locomotor Handicaps; a Psychiatrist or a Clinical Psychologist or teacher in special Education in case of Mental handicaps. The Chief Medical Officer of Health Sub-divisional Medical Officer of Health will be the Chairman of the Medical Board, the Medical Boards for the Districts and Calcutta will be a constituted by the Health and Family Welfare Department shortly.

4. Specialized tests as indicated in Annexures should be conducted before a certificate is given.

5. The Identity Cards as par the decision as aforesaid will be issued by the District Social Welfare Officer of this Department in case of residents of the districts and the Officer on Special Duty (Handicapped) of the Directorate of Social Welfare, West Bengal in case of the residents of Calcutta Postal Zone area to those who have been declared handicapped by the Medical Board.

The Identity Cards will be valid for 3 (three) years from the date of issue and card will be renewed alter obtaining the Medical report at the interval of three year’s.

6. Appellate Authority in case of any Doubt regarding the interpretation of the definition classification/evaluation test, the matter should be referred to the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India through the Relief and Welfare Department of this Government for removal of the same. The Director General of Health Services, Government of India is the final authority in this regards.

7. The Guidelines for evaluating the disability of a person by the Medical Boards as laid down by the Government of India are annexed herewith.

8. The rules and orders already in force in different Deptts. of this Govt. for extending facilities/ concessions to the handicapped persons may be modified as per this notification.

This order issues with concurrence of the Finance Department vide their order No. Group E 291 dt. 19.9.89.

By Order of the Governor

Sd/- R. K. Midha
Secretary to the Government of West Bengal

No. 4080-SW dated 27.09.1989

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