Volume 2 Issue 13 - July 01, 2004

Delhi judge rules dyslexia is a disability

DNIS News Network -- Delhi University has been ordered by the High Court to process the applications of students with dyslexia under the disability quota.

Shikar Narang, a student with dyslexia, sought admission to the university under the 3 per cent disability quota. He gained 75 per cent in his exams, despite his impairment, as CBSE recognises the problems faced by dyslexic students and makes concessions for them. His results made Narang confident of gaining a place for further study.

However he was told he did not qualify as a disabled person and that his grades were not good enough to secure entry outside the quota system as it has an 85 per cent minimum. Previously DU has applied the disability quota, outlined in the 1995 Disability Act, only to students with physical disabilities.

Campaigning organisation Disability Rights Group, through its convenor Javed Abidi, lodged a petition with the High Court that dyslexia should be treated as a distinct form of disability under the Disability Act 1995. The petition, filed as a PIL claimed, “excluding neurological disability … is violative of the act”.

In its judgment, the court took note of CBSE’s stance on dyslexia and asked the university to “provisionally process” the applications of candidates with dyslexia “on the basis that they are covered under Section 2 of the Persons with Disabilities Act”.

The judgement is especially good news for the disability sector, as dyslexia is not specifically mentioned in the act. The judge decided, on reading definitions of dyslexia, that the condition should be treated as a disability and that the student was therefore eligible for entry into DU under its 3 per cent disability quota.

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