Intellectual Disability
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As per Census 2011, there are 1.5 million people with intellectual disability (ID) in India. ID is prevalent in 1 to 3.2% of the population in India, and urban population has a slightly higher rate than their rural counterparts.

Before we get to its actual definition, it’s important to know that Intellectual disability has replaced the old, offensive term ‘Mental Retardation’, thanks to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Intellectual Disability is a term used to describe mental and learning impairments or disabilities that impact on the day to day functioning of the affected people. It is a lifelong condition that affects a person's ability to learn, think, and reason.

ID can affect a person in a couple of ways. 

  • The person may have a lower intelligence and face difficulty in learning, reasoning, making decisions, and solving problems
  • It can also affect the adaptive behaviors that make it difficult for a person to operate in a social set up
  • The person may not have the ability to communicate effectively, interact with other people, and take care of themselves

The portrayal of ID in Indian and global cinema has often been criticized by human rights advocates. The stereotypes of physical appearances and social engagement often propagate misconceived notions of the condition. 

Classic examples include Hrithik Roshan starrer Koi Mil Gaya and ensuing series Krrish. The ableist view on disability by Bollywood makes it appear either divine punishment for bad karma or a superpower that liberates the person altogether! 

People with ID often face challenges in school, such as difficulty with reading, writing, and problem-solving. But with the right support and intervention, they can learn and develop skills that allow them to live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

People with ID have skills and talents and contribute to their communities in many ways. Employment opportunities for them are increasing, and many are finding success in the workplace with the help of supportive employers and colleagues. They can also excel in sports

and other physical activities, and many participate in the Special Olympics and other competitions.

Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and it accounts for 15-20% of the ID population living across the world. DS is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability. According to a study, 1 in 800 children have Down Syndrome. 

The National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities is a premier organization established in 1984 dedicated to providing quality services to persons with intellectual disabilities. 

Down Syndrome Federation of India and its various chapters work towards providing support to individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. 

Also check out The Art Sanctuary, a charity that showcases artistic talents of young adults with intellectual disabilities and provides skill building too.

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Familiarize yourself with and expand your vocabulary of disability-related terminology! 
D - Diversity
I - Intervention
L - Lesson Plan
F - Functional limitations
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