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Awards set to recognise accessibility and universal design initiatives for people with disabilities

NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2020 to honour contributions towards the cause of accessibility and universal design.

NCPEDP awards, People woth disabilities awards, accessibility, universal design awards,, indianexpress, javed abidi,As per NCPEDP, accessibility not only means access to physical spaces but also access to information, technology, transport, services, aids, and appliances. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

To recognise the efforts towards enabling and empowering People with Disabilities (PwDs), the 11th edition of the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2020 is now open. The awards are given every year to people and organisations that are developing accessibility solutions or universal design in the space of education, employment, infrastructure and so on for India’s disabled population.

“We have been running the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards for over a decade now. The journey so far has proved that universal design for inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) is largely possible. We must now take more people along on the journey ahead and spread the culture of universal design further,” said Arman Ali, executive director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), in a statement.

Universal design is the design of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability, or any other factor.

As per NCPEDP, accessibility not only means access to physical spaces but also access to information, technology, transport, services, aids, and appliances. For example, only 0.05 per cent of printed books are available in accessible formats to people with a print disability. Further, most television programming is not accessible to people with hearing impairment in India.

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“Socially inclusive infrastructure not only provides people with accessibility needs equal access to all the opportunities but also enables them to fully participate in all aspects of life,” said Srikanth Karra, chief human resources officer, Mphasis.

The awards which will be presented on September 28, 2020, cover accessibility in the fields of built environment, transport, information and communication technology (ICT), services, aids and appliances and advocacy and public policy.

ALSO READ | Accessible cinema: Govt asks filmmakers to make audio descriptions part of production


Nominations, the last date of which is August 23, 2020, are divided in four categories:

Persons with disabilities

The work that the person with disability has done can be in policy framework, grass-root level implementation, design and development, access audits, or even rights movement/advocacy. Every year, three people across the country are recognised for the same.

Working professionals

A person with disability who may be the employee of an educational institute/NGO/corporate organisation/government body that has taken up the cause or a consultant or freelancer who has devoted her/his time for furthering the cause. Her/his individual contribution to the cause is a major reason for the success achieved by the organisation/firm/movement. The award is open to recognise an individual who is involved in the cause,  independent of any organisational support and has achieved significant success in the core objective of gaining accessibility for a PwD. Every year, awards in this category are given to three people across the country.



Companies/organisations that have implemented recruiting or serving PwDs and providing them equal opportunities to participate to the best of their abilities. These can be any type of educational institute/NGO/corporate organisation/government body/private sector/public sector/joint sector/small and medium enterprise/proprietorship/partnership firms. Every year, awards in this category are given out to four companies/organisations across the country.

The NCPEDP- Mphasis Javed Abidi Public Policy Award for Universal Design

The category, instituted in 2018 in memory of the Late Javed Abidi, recognises advocacy efforts to promote accessibility and the principle of universal design. Two awards are given under this category to individuals/organisations in the area of physical infrastructure, transport, ICT, products, and services doing exemplary work to create a level playing field for PwDs to access the same opportunities and rights as all other citizens of India.

The nomination forms can be downloaded from

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First published on: 15-08-2020 at 10:35 IST
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