CHAPTER 65
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Superiority of Act

PART II
RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

   4.   General principles

   5.   Duty to respect and uphold rights and dignity of persons with disabilities

   6.   Prohibition of discrimination and use of derogatory names

   7.   Right to family life and social activities

   8.   Legal protection and participation in judicial proceedings

   9.   Law enforcement and persons with disabilities

   10.   Void contracts

PART III
ZAMBIA AGENCY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

   11.   Continuation of Agency

   12.   Restriction on execution against property of Agency

   13.   Composition of Board

   14.   Functions of Agency

   15.   Registration of person with disabilities

   16.   Agency may gather information

   17.   Provision of information and raising of public awareness

   18.   Delegation of powers and assignment of functions

   19.   Director-General and other staff

PART IV
STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

   20.   General function of the Minister

   21.   National strategies and Plan

PART V
PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

DIVISION 1
EDUCATION

   22.   Education system

   23.   Special education facilities and equipment in educational institutions

   24.   Education of child with disability

   25.   Prohibition of refusal or admission on account of disability

   26.   Library facilities

DIVISION 2
HEALTH CARE AND FACILITIES

   27.   Access to health services

   28.   Health programmes

   29.   Training of health professionals

   30.   Periodic screening of children

   31.   Operation of assessment centres

DIVISION 3
HABILITATION AND REHABILITATION

   32.   Habilitation and rehabilitation

   33.   Habilitation and Rehabilitation Centre

   34.   Community Habilitation and Rehabilitation Centre

DIVISION 4
EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL PROTECTION

   35.   Employment

   36.   Social protection

   37.   Promotion of employment of persons with disabilities

   38.   Posting, transfer and re-deployment of person with disability

   39.   Reservation of employment

DIVISION 5
ACCESSIBILITY AND MOBILITY

   40.   Accessibility

   41.   Access to public places

   42.   Access to public services

   43.   Integration of needs of persons with disabilities

   44.   Importation of non-conventional vehicles

   45.   Parking places for persons with disabilities

   46.   Facilities at port terminals

   47.   Public service vehicles

   48.   Participation in cultural, life, recreation, leisure and sport

   49.   Television programmes

   50.   Telephone services

DIVISION 6
POLITICAL AND PUBLIC LIFE

   51.   Participation in political and public life

PART VI
DISABILITY SERVICES INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANISATIONS OF, AND FOR, PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

   52.   Disability services institutions

   53.   Public services institutions

   54.   Registration of organisation of, or for, persons with disabilities

PART VII
NATIONAL TRUST FUND FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

   55.   National Trust Fund for Persons with Disabilities

   56.   Financial matters of Fund

PART VIII
INSPECTORATE

   57.   Inspection of institutions

   58.   Powers of inspector

   59.   Duty of inspector to report

   60.   Adjustment order

PART IX
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

   61.   Concealment of persons with disabilities

   62.   Negligence causing disability

   63.   Giving false information to get registered

   64.   Request for legal action by Attorney-General

   65.   General penalty

PART X
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   66.   Regulations

   67.   Repeal of Cap. 65

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to continue the existence of the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities and define its functions and powers; promote the participation of persons with disabilities with equal opportunities in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural spheres; provide for mainstreaming of disability issues as an integral part of national policies and strategies of sustainable development; incorporate a gender perspective in the promotion of the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities; ensure accessibility by persons with disabilities to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, and to health, education, information, communication and technology; provide for the regulation and registration of institutions that provide services to persons with disabilities and organisations of, and for, persons with disabilities; continue the existence of the National Trust Fund for Persons with Disabilities; provide for the domestication of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol and other international instruments on persons with disabilities to which Zambia is party, in order to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity; repeal and replace the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1996; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[24th July, 2012]

Act 6 of 2012.

PART I
Preliminary

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Persons with Disabilities Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Agency” means the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities established under the repealed Act and continued under this Act;

“affirmative action” includes any measure designed to overcome or ameliorate an inequity or the systematic denial or infringement of a right or freedom;

“assistive devices and services” means implements, tools and specialised services, including the services of personal assistants for persons with disabilities, qualified interpreters for deaf persons and qualified teachers for persons with visual impairments and children with intellectual disabilities, provided to assist them in education, employment or other activities;

“board” means a management board established for a public institution under section 53;

“child” means a person below the age of eighteen years;

“communication” means languages, display of text, Braille, sign language, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia as well as written, audio, plain-language, human- reader and augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology;

“Convention” means the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted by the United Nations and its Optional Protocol;

“Director-General” means the person appointed Director- General of the Agency under section 19;

“disability” means a permanent physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment that alone, or in a combination with social or environmental barriers, hinders the ability of a person to fully or effectively participate in society on an equal basis with others;

“discrimination” means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field, and includes all forms of discrimination, such as denial of reasonable accommodation, and the term “discrimination on the basis of disability” shall be construed accordingly;

“Fund” means the National Trust Fund for Persons with Disabilities continued under section 55;

“habilitation” means rehabilitation of a person born with a disability;

“institution” means an institution providing services to persons with disabilities registered under section 52;

“language” includes spoken and sign languages and other forms of non-spoken languages;

“organisation for persons with disabilities” means an organisation that promotes and protects the interest of persons with disabilities whose members are not persons with disabilities or if the organisation is a federal organisation, of which the majority of its member organisations are lot organisations of persons with disabilities;

“organisation of persons with disabilities” means an organisation that promotes and protects the interests of persons with disabilities, and of which a majority of its members are persons with disabilities or if the organisation is a federal organisation, of which the majority of its member organisations are not organisations of persons with disabilities;

“personal assistant” includes a care-giver;

“person with disability” means a person with a permanent physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder that person to fully and effectively participate in society on an equal basis with others;

“public place” means any building, premises, conveyance or other public indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned to which the public have access by right or invitation, whether by payment of a fee or not, but does not include a place used exclusively by one or more person for a private gathering or other personal purpose;

“reasonable accommodation” means necessary and appropriate modification, adaptation and adjustments, not imposing undue burden, where needed in a particular case; to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

“Register” means, in relation to—

      (a)   persons with disabilities, the Register of Persons with Disabilities; and

      (b)   organisations of, and for, persons with disabilities, the Register of Organisations of, and for, Persons with Disabilities;

“rehabilitation” means the process through which persons with disabilities can partially or fully restore their physical, mental, sensory or social functional abilities;

“repealed Act” means the Persons with Disabilities Act;

“Road Development Agency” means the Road Development Agency established under the Public Roads Act, 2002;

“TEVETA” means the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority established by the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Act, 1998; and

“universal design” means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design, but does not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities, where this is needed.

3.   Superiority of Act

Subject to the Constitution, where there is any inconsistency between the provisions of any other written law impacting on the rights of persons with disabilities as provided in this Act or any other matter specified or prescribed under this Act with respect to persons with disabilities, the provisions of this Act shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

PART II
RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

4.   General principles

The following principles shall apply to persons with disabilities—

      (a)   respect for inherent dignity of persons with disabilities, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;

      (b)   non-discrimination;

      (c)   recognition as persons before the law;

      (d)   respect for physical and mental integrity;

      (e)   independent living;

      (f)   full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

      (g)   respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;

      (h)   equality of opportunity;

      (i)   accessibility;

      (j)   gender equality;

      (k)   respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities; and

      (l)   respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.

5.   Duty to respect and uphold rights and dignity of persons with disabilities

Every person has a duty to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities and to respect and safeguard the dignity of persons with disabilities.

6.   Prohibition of discrimination and use of derogatory names

   (1) A person shall not discriminate against a person with disability on the basis of disability.

   (2) A person shall not exploit or subject a person with disability to abusive, violent or degrading treatment including their gender-based aspects.

   (3) A person shall not call a person with disability any derogatory name because of the disability of that person.

7.   Right to family life and social activities

Except where a person with disability is required to be in a specialised institution due to the nature of the disability, a person with disability shall not be deprived of the right to choose their place of residence, to live with that person’s family or the right to participate in social, political, economic, creative or recreational activities.

8.   Legal protection and participation in legal proceedings

   (1) A person with disability shall enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.

   (2) The Judicature shall take necessary measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal and effective protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.

   (3) Where a person with disability is a party in any legal proceedings, the adjudicating body shall take into account the condition of the person with disability and provide procedural and other appropriate facilities, to enable the person with disability to access justice and participate effectively in the proceedings.

9.   Law enforcement and persons with disabilities

Subject to the Constitution, law enforcement agencies shall take into consideration the disability of a person on arrest, detention, trial or confinement of the person with disability and make reasonable accommodation for that person accordingly, including at investigative and other preliminary stages of the matter.

10.   Void contracts

Any contract for employment or for the provision of goods, facilities or services, or any other agreement, shall be void insofar as it purports to deny any person with disability any rights or privileges conferred under this Act or in any other way to limit the operation of this Act.

PART III
THE ZAMBIA AGENCY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

11.   Continuation of Agency

   (1) The Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities established under the repealed Act shall continue to exist, as if established under this Act, as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and of being sued in its corporate name, and shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have power to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may, by law, do or perform.

   (2) The provisions of the Schedules shall apply to the Agency.

12.   Restriction on execution against property of Agency

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law, where any judgment or order has been obtained against the Agency, no execution or attachment or process, of any nature, shall be issued against the Agency against any property of the Agency, but the Director-General shall cause to be paid out of the funds of the Agency such amounts ordered, against the Agency, to the person entitled to it.

13.   Composition of Board of Agency

   (1) The Board of the Agency shall consist of the following members—

      (a)   eight representatives, of whom four shall be women, of the following categories of disabilities—

      (i)   mental disability;

      (ii)   visual impairment;

      (iii)   physical disability; and

      (iv)   hearing impairment;

      (b)   a representative of the Federation of Employers;

      (c)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for works and buildings;

      (d)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for education, science and technology;

      (e)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for community development and social welfare;

      (f)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for finance;

      (g)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for broadcasting services;

      (h)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for labour;

      (i)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for health;

      (j)   a representative of the Attorney-General; and

      (k)   a representative of a youth disability organisation.

   (2) The persons referred to in sub-section (1) shall be appointed by the Minister as members of the Agency.

   (3) The Minister shall, when making an appointment in accordance with sub-section (1), request the relevant Ministry, organisation or the Attorney-General to nominate suitable persons for appointment to the Agency.

   (4) The members shall elect the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Agency from amongst themselves, except that a public officer shall not be elected Chairperson.

   (5) A person shall not be appointed as a member of the Agency if that person—

      (a)   is not a citizen of Zambia;

      (b)   is an undischarged bankrupt;

      (c)   has been convicted of an offence under this Act;

      (d)   has been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty; or

      (e)   has been convicted of an offence under any other written law and sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding six months without the option of a fine.

   (6) The Minister shall, as soon as possible after the appointment of the members of the Agency, publish, in a newspaper of general circulation in Zambia, the names of the members and the period for which the members are appointed.

14.   Functions of Agency

   (1) The functions of the Agency are to—

      (a)   plan, promote and administer services for persons with disabilities;

      (b)   develop and implement measures to achieve equal opportunities for persons with disabilities by ensuring, to the maximum extent possible, that they obtain education and employment, participate fully in sporting, recreation and cultural activities and are afforded full access to community and social services;

      (c)   facilitate and coordinate habilitation, rehabilitation, training and welfare services for persons with disabilities;

      (d)   operate schemes and projects for self employment or regular or sheltered employment for persons with disabilities;

      (e)   promote research into all aspects of disability;

      (f)   promote public awareness in all aspects of disability;

      (g)   cooperate with State institutions and other organisations in the provision of preventive, educational, training, employment, rehabilitation and habilitation services and other welfare services for persons with disabilities;

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