The Disability Law Initiative (DLI) is a project of Advocates for Public Justice Foundation, a non-profit organization in India committed to the cause of a fair, equitable and inclusive society through the enabling power of public interest law. DLI provides legal advocacy for disabled persons so as to realize affirmative action in employment, education, barrier-free access to facilities, housing, financial services and other such areas critical for the integration of disabled persons all over India into the social mainstream.
DLI provides assistance, consultation and representation to disabled persons and their organizations for the issues affecting them and circumstances or situations that inhibit their full participation in society. In doing so DLI is guided by the enabling provisions of disability law in India. From representing the disabled individual’s interests before the concerned parties, to filing petitions in the Courts, DLI aims to implement positive measures for persons with disabilities.
The Disability Law Initiative’s work so far has had significant impact on the realization of rights and affirmative action for disabled persons. For instance DLI has obtained precedent setting directions from the Delhi High Court to the Indian Railways to conduct a special recruitment drive for hiring more than 4000 disabled persons; and has also led a case where the Delhi High Court required the Delhi Government to provide free school text books in Braille to all visually impaired children in Delhi. DLI is pursuing a petition in the Supreme Court to make institutions of higher education in India accessible to disabled persons, which will result in opening up not only higher education but also employment for persons with disabilities.
The Disability Law Initiative also provides awareness and training on the empowering provisions of disability law such as the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, and the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Further, DLI disseminates know-your-rights publications and articles on the judgments of the Indian and international Courts.