Surprising number apply for disability certificate: MOI


CNA

TAIPEI–A much higher number of people than expected have applied for a new disability certificate that was introduced last July, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said yesterday.

Between July 2012 and February 2013, the ministry received over 77,000 new applications for the certificate that classifies the level of disability and required care of the holder, said Chu Chien-fang, a senior executive officer at the ministry.

That was a year-on-year increase of about 27,000, she said, attributing the sharply higher number to “looser regulations and a wider range of (disability) classifications.”

In addition, the new certificate uses codes, rather than words, to classify disabilities, thus giving the holder more privacy, Chu told CNA on the sidelines of an international workshop to promote the new certificate.

The new evaluation process extends beyond just the person’s mental and physical condition, to include environmental factors and the level of ability to function within the broader society, she said.

This gives the government more comprehensive information and allows for better service to the disabled, Chu said.

In Taiwan, there are about 1.1 million disabled people, accounting for 4.8 percent of the total population, according to government statistics.

The new certificate adopts the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), a World Health Organization standard for measuring health and disability at both the individual and population level.

The ICF has been accepted by the United Nations since 2001 as the universal standard.

In Japan, Italy and Australia, the ICF framework is used to guide clinical measurement and evaluation of patients requiring rehabilitation, home care, elderly care and disability support.