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21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 – Multiple Disabilities

As part of our awareness series about the 21 disabilities covered under the RPWD ACT 2016, today we will talk about Multiple Disabilities including deafblindness. Multiple Disabilities refers to the presence of more than one disability in a person. People with multiple disabilities have to be helped through special education and assistive programs as considering just one of their disability is not enough.


The term Multiple Disabilities covers a wide range of conditions, symptoms, severities and traits. These can be a combination of disabilities such as speech, physical mobility, learning, mental disabilities, visual, hearing, brain injury and more.

Some examples of multiple disabilities are as below.

- Deafblind -Visual Impairment and Hearing Impairment - Visual Impairment and Hearing Impairment and Mental Impairment - Visual Impairment and Mental Impairment - Cerebral Palsy and Mental Impairment / Hearing/ Speech/ Visual problems

Deafblindness is a condition in which a person may have combination of hearing and visual impairments and these cause severe communication, developmental, and educational issues in their lives.


Some of the most common characteristics of people with multiple disabilities can be as follows

  • Speech impairments
  • Issues with communication skills
  • Mobility challenges
  • Intellectual and mental impairments
  • Seizures
  • Dependency on others for everyday activities

These symptoms pose challenges in the educational and social life of the people with multiple disabilities. Children with multiple disabilities cannot be taught with the standard processes used for disabled children.

By multiple disabilities, we mean a combination of 2-3 disabilities, even more. Children who have multiple disabilities need special education, physiotherapy, speech therapy, vision rehabilitation therapy, etc but these are rarely offered in the same place and parents have to run around trying to get their children the help they need.- Dipti Gandhi, Founder of Muskan Foundation

In fact the IEP- individualized education program, has to be modified and amended as per their symptoms and capabilities.

These children need to be diagnosed and evaluated to ascertain their intelligence level. Parents, teachers and educators have to make accommodations as per the individual needs of children with multiple disabilities.

It has been found that for children and people with multiple disabilities, the physical challenges can be eased through therapies such as physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Therapies can be useful in addressing the mental and physical issues and help in learning coping strategies as well.

RPWD act ensures that people with multiple disabilities get to live their lives with dignity and respect without discrimination and bias.

ALSO READ: 21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Specific Learning Disabilities

21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Leprosy Cured persons

21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Muscular Dystrophy

21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Acid Attack Survivors

21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Sickle Cell disease

21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Thalassemia

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