Education > Research studies
Status of mainstream education of disabled students in India
N.C.P.E.D.P. recently conducted a survey on the education scenario
for students with disabilities. We were expecting the research to show that
the situation was bad. But the results have shocked us. Here is a summary of
the research study which was supported by Amici Di Raoul Follereau (AIFO). At
the end of each section are downloadable files with detailed findings.
The survey was conducted on a sample size to assess the accessibility
of educational institutions for disabled students in India. This postal survey
is the first of its kind carried out in the country. However we would like to
declare that the information displayed is as per the responses sent to us by
the participants themselves. NCPEDP does not have the wherewithal or resources
to cross verify each of the responses. If anyone has experiences contrary to
the claims of the institutions do inform us of the same and we shall make necessary
changes after verification. Should any institution wish to include their name
in this list do write to us at email@example.com
and we shall make the necessary changes after verification.
The results are summarised under the following four heads.
Click the section you are interested in or browse downwards to read the sections
1. Status of mainstream education of disabled students in
All the 322 Universities in India were sent
the research questionnaire. A total of 119 (36.9%) Universities
- In the total of 119 respondent Universities, only 1,635 students
with disabilities are enrolled. Therefore, only about 0.1% of the students
were found to be those with disabilities. While 3% seats in educational institutions
are to be reserved for disabled students, the figure of 0.1% is nowhere close
to this figure!
- About 24 Universities (20%) clearly reported that they did not follow
the 3% reservation for disabled students as mandated by the law of
the nation! While the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection
of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 mandates a wide variety of efforts
to ensure equal opportunities to disabled students for getting quality education,
it also clearly states that ‘all Government educational institutions and
other educational institutions receiving aid from the Government, shall reserve
not less than three per cent seats for persons with disabilities.’
- In all the 119 respondent Universities, only 1,203 students with orthopaedic
impairments were enrolled. Furthermore, only 18 Universities (15%) reported
that they provided appropriate desks and chairs for students with disabilities,
only 11 (9%) provided wheelchairs and only 9 (7.5%) of them provided access
to tricycles! It seemed clear that only persons with minor physical impairments,
who required minimum physical assistance of any kind, got admission in the Universities.
- In all the 119 Universities, only 311 students with visual impairments
were enrolled. While only 16 Universities had special computer software,
only 10 (8.4%) Universities provided access to books in Braille!
- In all the 119 Universities, only 38 students with hearing impairments
study. Only 9 (7.5%) Universities reported provision of hearing aids
for students while 10 (8.4%) of them provided sign language interpreters. Even
these figures seem exaggerated as on further investigation one University reported
that the sign language interpreters were not provided in classrooms, but arranged
for during certain seminars/conferences! Only 11 Universities had students with
hearing disability. Most of these had just one such student except Osmania University
(Hyderabad) that had 23 of total of 38 students with hearing disability.
- In all the 119 Universities, only 22 students with mental disability
were enrolled. Assuming that people with intellectual impairment were
unlikely to reach the higher education level, the 1.3 % of students with mental
disability in the Universities were likely to be students with mental illness.
It was very clear that awareness about the abilities of persons with intellectual
impairment and mental illness was lacking.
- Seven Universities (5.8%) categorically mentioned that they do not
admit students with disability, conveniently ignoring the law.
- Some of the notable Universities which did not reply to the questionnaire
in spite of reminders, were Delhi University, All India Institute of
Medical Sciences (New Delhi), Indira Gandhi National Open University (New Delhi),
Jamia Millia Islamia University (New Delhi), Bangalore University (Karnataka),
University of Calcutta (West Bengal), University of Calicut (Kerala) and Indian
Agricultural Research Institute (New Delhi), amongst many others.
- About 76.3% of the disabled students were males, while 23.7% were females.
The government focus on educating girls did not seem to have much impact on
the education level of girls with disabilities.
- Osmania University (Hyderabad) was the only one that projected
a healthier trend in giving opportunities to students with different disabilities
- out of its total number of 60 students with disabilities, 13 had orthopaedic
disabilities, 3 visual disability, 23 hearing disability and 21 had mental disabilities.
- Banaras Hindu University (U.P.) and Aligarh Muslim University (U.P.) had
the number of disabled students in three digits – 208 and 202 respectively.
38 Universities (31%) had no disabled students. These included
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), University of Allahabad, Guru
Nanak Dev University (Amritsar), University of Rajasthan, Rabindra Bharati University
(Kolkata), and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Karnataka) among others.
31 Universities projected less than 5 disabled students, which included National
Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Bangalore), School of Planning
and Architecture (Delhi), Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), Punjab Agricultural
University (Ludhiana), NorthEastern Hill University (Shillong), and University
of Pune. 23 Universities had more than 5 but less than 20 disabled students.
These included Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Punjab University,
Chandigarh, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, Roorkee, Mumbai, and G.B.
Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Uttaranchal.
- While 112 Universities (94%) mentioned that they gave admission to disabled
students, only 24 (20%) of them provided special equipment for the students.
Clearly, it was just by chance that the others had a few students with disabilities
in their institutions.
- When given a chance to explain reasons for not admitting disabled students,
very few Universities were forthcoming. Only 6 admitted to the lack
of trained staff and only 5 admitted to lack of infrastructure.
- Out of the 119 respondent Universities, 47 Universities mentioned that they
gave scholarships to disabled students and 29 gave financial
assistance. It was clear from the minimal number of disabled students
in these Universities that these facilities were being provided in general for
all students and disabled students could get them by sheer chance. For example,
though 73 Universities mentioned that they provided hostel facility for disabled
students, it was unlikely that any hostel had even a single toilet/ room/ mess
area accessible for a wheelchair user! And it is lack of proper hostels and
financial constraints that greatly limit the choices disabled students have
for higher education.
- Only 50% of the 119 Universities reported being aware of the UGC
schemes and only 11 (9%) Universities had received UGC grant under
the schemes including Banaras Hindu University, University of Mumbai, Jawaharlal
Nehru University (New Delhi), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), and
Aligarh Muslim University. The University Grants Commission initiated two schemes
in 1998: one for the preparation of teachers for special education at the B.
Ed. and M. Ed. levels and the other for the provision of facilities for promoting
higher education for disabled students.
- About 80% of the respondent institutions reported that disabled students
were easily able to reach the classrooms, offices, toilets, auditorium, sports
area, library, canteen, laboratories and the hostels! The institutions obviously
did not understand the issue of access and were under the impression that all
the places were accessible for all present and future disabled
|Top 10 universities
|Name of college
||Number of disabled students
|Banaras Hindu University
|Aligarh Muslim University
|University of Hyderabad
|Jawaharlal Nehru University,
|South Gujarat University
|Karnataka State Open
|Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural
Download detailed findings on
Universities in Excel format
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2. Status of mainstream education of
disabled students in colleges
The Survey was conducted on 294 colleges across the country.
About 10 colleges from each State and 1 college from each Union Territory were
contacted. Response was received from 96 colleges (32.65%).
- In the 96 respondent colleges, only 679 students with disabilities
were enrolled. A mere 0.52% of the student population consisted of
disabled students, far away from the 3% mandated by the law!
- Out of the 96 respondent colleges, 27 (28%) did not have a single disabled
student. And 45 (46.87%) colleges had 5 or less than 5 disabled students enrolled
with them! However, only 12 (12.5%) colleges reported that the college
does not admit students with disabilities.
- The Ram Krishna College at Madhubani, Bihar reported having 115 disabled
students, the only college crossing the 3 digit mark!
- Colleges with a percentage of 2.5 and above of students
with disabilities were Rajapalayam Raju’s College in Tamil Nadu, Govt.
Autonomous College at Kalahandi, Orissa, and Malangiri College in Orissa.
However, all of them reported that they were not aware of The Disability Act,
- As many as 32 (33.3%) respondent colleges clearly mentioned that they were
not aware of The Disability Act, 1995!
- 59 (61.1%) colleges were not aware of the UGC Schemes, which provide grants
for facilitating higher education for disabled people. Although 36 colleges
(37.5%), reported being aware of the UGC Schemes, but not
a single respondent college were recipients of the grant.
- Out of the students with disabilities, maximum had orthopaedic impairment.
They formed 52.43% of disabled students. Students with visual impairments
formed 22.96% of the group, while 14.58% consisted of students with speech/hearing
impairment. The others were mentioned under the category of ‘other’
- Women formed 43.4% of the total student population, while out of the 679
disabled students, women consisted of only 22% of the group!
Clearly, women with disabilities were completely neglected by our higher education
- Only 11 women with speech/ hearing impairment had access to higher education
in the respondent 96 colleges! This seems to be the most neglected
- Though the percentage of disabled students in the respondent colleges was
as low as 0.52%, very few of the respondent colleges expressed their concerns
openly. Only about 15 of the respondent colleges reported lack of
infrastructure and trained staff as their apprehensions.
- Out of the 96 respondent colleges, only 3 reported of providing training
to teachers for working with disabled students. Out of these 3 colleges,
however, Govt. College of Arts Science & Commerce, Goa had no disabled
student and St. Mary’s College, Meghalaya had only 1 disabled student!
- About 8 colleges mentioned that teachers with special education training
are also employed. Out of these colleges however, St. Xavier College, Ranchi
had only 6 disabled students, Tura Govt. College, Meghalaya had 4, Xavier
Labour Relation Institute, Jamshedpur and Islamia Faridia College, Kishtwar,
Jammu & Kashmir had 1 each, while Harkamaya College of Education, Gangtok
had no disabled student! Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur and St. Xavier
College, Mumbai had 17 and 24 disabled students enrolled with them.
- With 35 disabled students, 100 teaching staff and a total of 1,984 students,
Farook College, Calicut, Kerala, not only employed teachers
with training in special education but also provided training to its teachers
for working with students with disabilities.
- While 356 students with orthopaedic impairment were enrolled in 62 respondent
colleges, only 10 colleges reported providing appropriate desks and
chairs, only 5 provided wheelchairs and only 3 provided tricycles!
- Only 27 (28%) of the respondent colleges were accessible for students with
visual impairment, amounting to 156 students. And only 3 of them provided
special computer software and only 4 (4%) provided books in Braille!
The others were left to fend for themselves!
- Only 3 colleges mentioned having sign language interpreters but
none of these colleges had any student with hearing impairment!
|Top 10 colleges
|Name of college
||Number of disabled students
|Rajapalayam Rajuís College
|Government Arts College
for Women, Salem
|Guardian Angel Institute
of Hotel Management and Catering Technology
|Loyem Memorial College
|Ram Krishna College
Download detailed findings on
Colleges in Excel format
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3. Status of education of disabled students
in mainstream schools
The sample comprised 10 schools from each State and 5 from each
Union Territory. A total of 318 schools were contacted across the country. 89
schools (28%) responded, 229 schools (72%) did not bother to fill up the questionnaire,
probably due to indifference or because they did not have anything to report.
- In the 89 respondent schools, only 382 students with disabilities
were enrolled. A mere 0.51% of the student population consisted of
disabled students, again negligible as far as the 3% reservation by the law
- Out of the 89 respondent schools, 34 (38%) did not have a single disabled
student! However, only 18 schools (20%) admitted clearly that the school
does not admit students with disabilities. An equal number (20%)
of respondent schools were not aware of The Disability Act, 1995!
- The Springdales School, New Delhi and The Vasant Valley School,
New Delhi had 3.72% and 3.23% disabled students enrolled with them!
A definite exception to the usual trend observed in schools. Schools with
a percentage of 2 and above of students with disabilities were Kendriya Vidyalay,
Donimalai, Karnataka, Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, and St. John’s Higher
Secondary School, Mizoram.
- Girls formed 41.61% of the total student population, while
out of the 382 disabled students, girls consisted of only 33.25% of the group!
In addition, only 18 girls with speech/ hearing impairment had access to schools
in the respondent 89 schools! This seems to be the most neglected disability
group even at this level of education!
- Showing an unexpected trend, out of the 382 students with disabilities,
maximum had intellectual impairment. They formed 28% of disabled
students though only 7 schools were open to admit them. Out of these, Springdales
School, New Delhi had 59 students with mental disability, Vasant Valley School,
New Delhi had 27, while Bishop Cotton School, Shimla had 14.
- About 24.1% of disabled students were those with visual impairments.
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Donimalai, Karnataka had 23 students with visual impairment,
Karimpuzha Higher Secondary School in Kerala had 16, while St. John’s
Higher Secondary School had 14 students.
- Students with orthopaedic impairment formed 26.4% of all disability
groups, while a mere 11.5% consisted of students with speech/hearing
impairment. The rest 9.95% were mentioned under the category of ‘other’
- As mentioned earlier, 18 schools clearly mentioned that they did not give
admission to disabled students. Most schools expressed apprehension about
lack of trained staff and lack of infrastructure. 10 schools
mentioned that there are special schools for disabled children as a reason
for not giving admission to them! A few also expressed concern about the safety
of the disabled child and their academic abilities!
- While 55 of the respondent schools give admission to disabled students,
only 20 schools employ special educators and only 12 provide
training to teachers for working with disabled students.
- As many as 57 of the 89 respondent schools did not have a counsellor
or advisor for the students!
- While 55 of the respondent schools had disabled students, only 8 provided
any special equipment for better learning for the students! In addition, only
16 schools provided any form of scholarship and only 13 schools
provided any financial assistance to them.
- While 41 schools had students with orthopaedic impairment, only 8 provided
them with appropriate desks and chairs, only 3 provided wheelchairs and only
1 provided tricycles!
- Out of the 19 schools that had students with visual impairment, only 3
provided special computer software and only 1 had books in Braille!
Only 12 schools provided writers for them.
- Similarly, while 29 schools had students with speech and hearing impairment,
only 3 schools provided hearing aids for them! None of the schools provided
for sign-language interpreters.
- While 36 of the 89 respondent schools reported that their hostels were
accessible for disabled students, only 8 schools mentioned clearly that hostels
were available for disabled students!
- As many as 57 schools reported that disabled students were integrated
in appropriate classes with other students!
|Top 10 schools
|Name of school
||Number of disabled students
|Vasant Valley School
|Kendriya Vidyalaya, Donimalai
|Bishop Cotton School
|St.John's Higher Secondary
|Government Senior Secondary
|Government T. H. School
|Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya,
|Karimpuzha Higher Secondary
|Government Senior Secondary
Download detailed findings on
Schools in Excel format
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It seems that the time has come to wake up and fulfil the dream
of Education for All. We must act now:
- In order to ensure that the education of disabled children be given equal
importance, it is imperative that the responsibility shifts from the Ministry
of Social Justice and Empowerment to the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Education is not a welfare issue, but a right of all Indian citizens,
including those with disabilities. Disabled children should have access to
quality education. A variety of options should be made available for the parents
to choose from for their child.
- In most parts of the country, education of disabled children is still seen
as the responsibility of ‘charitable’ institutions. The non-governmental
organisations (N.G.O.s), however, are certainly not equipped to meet
the higher educational needs of disabled students. The system of
education followed by the N.G.O.s for persons with severe disabilities needs
to be standardised with appropriate curriculum, teaching methodologies, equipment,
teacher training, time frames, certification, etc. In addition, concrete linkages
should be established between the N.G.O.s and mainstream educational institutions.
The N.G.O.s on their part need to take proactive measures to advocate for
mainstream education for the disabled children, at all levels.
- It should be made mandatory for all educational and training institutions
to maintain data/record of all students with disabilities who
apply for admission and who get enrolled.
- The Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
needs to ensure implementation of all the provisions for education of disabled
students as per The Disability Act, 1995, and take action against those institutions
that fail to adhere to the law.
- The National Education Policy needs to be
reviewed. A clear stand of the nation regarding the education of disabled
children, with due consideration to nature of impairment, severity of impairment,
level of education, age, etc., needs to be included in the policy.
- Education should not be denied to any citizen. All disabilities should
be included in The Disability Act, 1995, the National Education Policy and
any future policy of the nation. For example, Delhi University had restricted
the quota in admissions to only persons with physical disabilities. In June
2004, the Delhi High Court passed a landmark
interim order stating that students with dyslexia be given admission under
the disability quota. When a student with dyslexia, Shikhar Narang, was
denied the benefit of 3% reservation meant for disabled students, the Disabled
Rights Group had filed a PIL. Giving recognition to learning disabilities,
the Hon’ble Court issued notices to the Delhi University, its Disability
Committee and its Dean Students Welfare, and Shikhar’s application form
- All the agencies involved in various aspects of imparting education, like
curriculum development, teachers’ training, funding, etc., need to include
disability in all their future agendas.
- The UGC needs to review the implementation of its schemes and take further
proactive steps to enhance the access of higher education for disabled students.
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