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MonthlyVoice of Specials® Lahore, Pakistan.
A media project of VOS DPO, Lahore.

Every voice is special but 'Voice of Specials" have an endless echo.

The largest  ABC Certified  
bi-lingual magazine by and for
Persons with Disabilities in Pakistan

An effort to promote, protect and ensure full & equal rights of the persons with disabilities.

Join hands today

UN Programme on Disability What's Disability?

This is what UN defines 'disability' in its Chapter II of
"Charter for Disable Persons"

Specific Rights of PWDs

What is a disability?

The World Health Organization, in its International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps, makes a distinction between impairment, disability and handicap. These three concepts are defined by it as follows:

  1. Impairment is "any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function". Impairments are disturbances at the level of the organ which include defects in or loss of a limb, organ or other body structure, as well as defects in or loss of a mental function. Examples of impairments include blindness, deafness, loss of sight in an eye, paralysis of a limb, amputation of a limb; mental retardation, partial sight, loss of speech, mutism.

  2. Disability is a "restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being". It describes a functional limitation or activity restriction caused by impairment. Disabilities are descriptions of disturbances in function at the level of the person. Examples of disabilities include difficulty in seeing, speaking or hearing; difficulty in moving or climbing stairs; difficulty in grasping, reaching, bathing, eating, toileting etc.

  3. A handicap is a "disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impairment or disability that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex and social and cultural factors) for that individual". The term is also a classification of "circumstances in which disabled people are likely to find themselves". Handicap describes the social and economic roles of impaired or disabled persons that place them at a disadvantage compared to other persons. These disadvantages are brought about through the interaction of the person with specific environments and cultures. Examples of handicaps include being bedridden or confined to home; being unable to use public transport; being socially isolated.

Disabled people do not form a homogenous group. For example, the mentally retarded, the visually, hearing and speech impaired, those with restricted mobility or with so-called "medical disabilities" all encounter different barriers, of different kinds, which have to be overcome in different ways. The following definitions are developed from the perspective in the World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons:

  1. Prevention is any measures aimed at preventing the onset of mental, physical and sensory impairments (primary prevention) or at preventing impairment, when it has occurred, from having negative physical, psychological and social consequences (secondary prevention);

  2. Rehabilitation is a goal-oriented and time-limited process aimed at enabling an impaired person to reach the optimum mental, physical and/or social functional level, thus providing the individual with the tools to change her or his own life. It can involve measures intended to compensate for a loss of function or a functional limitation (for example, by technical aids) and other measures intended to facilitate social adjustment or readjustment;

  3. Equalization of opportunities is the process through which the general system of society, such as the physical and cultural environment, housing and transportation, social and health services, educational and work opportunities, cultural and social life, including sports and recreational facilities, are made accessible to all.

Prevention and rehabilitation, then, relate to an individual’s particular attributes (or lack thereof) and may entail special needs. Equalization relates to the process of building a suitable environment to reasonably accommodate those needs.

Specific Rights of Persons With Disabilities (approved by UN)

• Equal protection before the law
• Liberty and security of the person
• Freedom from torture
• Protection of the integrity of the person
• Liberty of movement and nationality
• Freedom of expression
• Respect for privacy
• Right to participation in public life
• Freedom from exploitation
• Respect for home and the family
• Right to live in the community
• Right to education
• Right to life
• Right to health
• Habilitation and rehabilitation
• Right to work
• Right to an adequate standard of living
• Right to participate in cultural life

(The UN Convention on the Rights of PWDs)

Pakistan signed the Convention on: 25th September 2008.

Official Definition of Persons With Disabilities by the Government of Pakistan:

For the quota system, “disabled person” means a person, on account of injury, disease or congenital deformity is handicapped in education or for undertaking any gainful profession or employment in order to earn his livelihood, and includes a person who is blind, deaf, physically handicapped or mentally retarded.

Source: The Gazette of Pakistan
(Statutory Notification SRO 627(1)/88)

Disability is not a tragedy, it’s an inconvenience.

When Allah takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you,
but merely opening your hands to receive something better.

Alphabet in Braille