NCPEDP-MphasiS Universal Design Awardees Announced

The National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), in association with AccessAbility and BarrierBreak Technologies, recently announced the winners of the NCPEDP-MphasiS Universal Design Awards 2012.                                                                               

These awards, instituted in 2010, are given away every year in an effort to spread awareness on Universal Design and recognize the exemplary work and efforts of both individuals and institutions towards the cause of accessibility and ensuring a life of equality and dignity for people with disabilities.

Universally, a universal design would be applicable and appealing to all regardless of age, ability or situation to almost everything. While this concept has been accepted and put into use in most developed nations, in India it is yet to catch up.

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Eminent panelists present at the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award function



The Awardees

This year’s distinguished awardees are:

Category A: Persons with Disability
Dipendra Manocha of DAISY Consortium (

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Receives the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award from Mukul Wasnik, union minister of social justice and empowerment

Category B: Working Professionals

  • Abhishek Syal, founder, Act to Rise for Innovation in Special Education

  • Prof Prabhat Ranjan, professor and scientist, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar

  • Raghunandan Joshi, joint MD, Modular Infotech and ACE Infotech

  • Rachna Khare, professor, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal and co-ordinator of the Centre for Human Centric Research[image_library_tag 639/3639, alt=”ncpedp-5429″ border=”0″ border=”0″ border=”0″ border=”0″ border=”0″ class=”right” title=”ncpedp-5429″ width=”170″ height=”105″ ,default]


Deepak Kumar Syal, father of Abhishek Syal receiving the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award from Mukul Wasnik, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment


Category C: Companies & Organizations

  • Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB)

  • Microsoft

  • National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)

  • Sri Vishnu Educational Society (SVES), Hyderabad

  • Travel Another India (TAI)


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Prof Rishikesh Krishnan, professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) receiving the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award from Mukul Wasnik, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment




The awards which propagate the need for universal accessibility also aim to create examples and inspiration for other organizations and individuals alike. The Awards cover accessibility in Built Environment, Transport, Information and Communication Technology, Services, and Aids and Appliances. 


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Meenu Handa, director, Microsoft Corporation (India) receiving the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award from Mukul Wasnik, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment




“We are confident that with each edition, these Awards will gain further recognition and credibility and will encourage more and more people to work in the field of promoting access and Universal Design,” said Javed Abidi, honorary director, NCPEDP.

Some Commendable Work

Students from SVES have been actively involved in developing assistive technology for people with learning disabilities, speech and hearing impairments and vision and mobility impairments. One such device developed for a person with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) with almost no mobility other than the movement of the eyebrows, led to the design of Mind Mouse. This device can assist people with limited mobility to communicate. The software is loaded on a net-book with which a person can express her/his needs and call for help.

Other products developed by the students include an integrated wheelchair that is actuated and controlled by the simple movement of a person’s head. This and another product titled ‘RFID and E-Compass based Navigation System for the Blind’ were showcased at the Texas Instruments’ Analog Design Contest 2010 and both the projects were selected for the award of the first and second runners-up prize, respectively.

The cumulative enrolment of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is more than 2.02 mn learners including more than 55,000 learners with disabilities, making it the largest open schooling system.

To cater to the special needs of disabled people, NIOS has Special Accredited Institutions for Education of the Disadvantaged (SAIED).

ICT is used as a major strategy towards reaching the unreached and providing quality support to NIOS learners especially to persons with disabilities. NIOS has its own web portal for disseminating  information and providing online citizen centric services as part of e-governance.

The website provides complete information about NIOS with rich content and is designed by following the GIGW including Guidelines of WCAG. The website is completely accessible.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) is the first of the IIMs to have adopted a clearly articulated Equal Opportunity Policy. Accordingly, the Office of Disability Services (ODS) was set up in January 2010 with support from MphasiS.

While, for over two decades now, Microsoft has focused on making computers easier to use for individuals with a wide array of difficulties and impairments.



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