National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled Persons (NCPEDP) is calling innovators to submit their nominations for the prestigious 14th NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards. These awards aim to acknowledge and honor ground-breaking initiatives that have a significant impact on accessibility, contributing to a more inclusive society.
A concept intrinsic to any kind of access is ‘Universal Design’, which means a design usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. To spread awareness about Universal Design and to popularise this concept, NCPEDP, in association with Mphasis, instituted The NCPEDP – Mphasis Universal Design Awards in 2010.
The deadline for nominations for this year’s Award is July 31, and interested individuals or organisations can make their submissions on the NCPEDP website at www.ncpedp.org.
“Accessibility encompasses more than just physical spaces – it includes access to information, technology, transportation, services, and assistive devices. The recent move by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to bring Indian Standard on Accessibility for ICT Products and Services under the ambit of RPWD Act signifies a decisive push forward towards inclusion and a level playing field. However, there remains a gap in awareness and understanding of assistive aids,” said Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP.
Giving the rationale for the Award and its continued popularity for the 14th year now, Ali added, “The Universal Design Awards is an attempt to celebrate ideas and innovations that promote accessibility – be it in physical infrastructure, transport, ICT, products or services.”
He added, “By incorporating universal design principles into the development of assistive technology, it becomes more accessible, user-friendly, customizable, inclusive, and compatible with existing technologies. This helps to bridge the digital divide and empower individuals with disabilities to fully engage in education, employment, communication, and recreational activities.”
“We are looking forward to witnessing the innovations around accessibility at the 14th edition of The Universal Design Awards, as we prepare to celebrate the remarkable achievements of its winners. Year after year, our foremost goal has been to shine a spotlight on the importance of accessibility. With each passing edition, we have been deeply moved and inspired by the extraordinary innovations and designs that not only embrace inclusivity but also transcend boundaries. The Universal Design Awards serve as a catalyst for change, inspiring designers, and innovators to think beyond traditional limitations and embrace the principles of universal design. This award serves as a platform for recognizing and honouring those visionaries who have dedicated their skills and expertise to creating solutions that cater to the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities. We firmly believe that every person deserves equal opportunities, and it is through the power of innovative design that we can truly transform lives,” said Srikanth Karra, Chief Human Resources Officer, Mphasis.
There are four categories under which the Universal Design Awards are given:
Persons with Disabilities: Who have created an impact through work done in policy framework, grass-root level implementation, design and development, access audits or even the rights movement/advocacy.
Working Professionals: They can be employees of an educational institute, NGO, corporate/govt body, freelancers or any consultant who has taken up the cause and has achieved significant success in the core objective of gaining accessibility for people with disability.
Companies / Organisation: These can be any type of educational institute/ NGO/corporate/govt body-private, public or joint sector, SME or even proprietorship/partnership firms that have implemented the core idea of inclusivity and accessibility within their organisations by recruiting and serving people with disabilities and providing them equal opportunities to participate to the best of their abilities.
Javed Abidi Public Policy Awards: This is a special award to recognize those individuals / organizations who are carrying forward the legacy of Mr Javed Abidi to promote universal design through their advocacy efforts.
Registered in 1996, NCPEDP is the country’s premier cross-disability, not-for-profit organisation working as the interface between Government, Industry, International Agencies and the Voluntary sectors working towards the empowerment of persons with disabilities.
# Award Entries Open till July 31. Send Your Nominations at www.ncpedp.org.