Corporates and Entrepreneurs would do well to think in terms of making their products accessible to India’s 70-100 million persons with disabilities. Because one of the biggest challenges faced by people with disabilities is accessibility.
Accessibility not only means access to physical spaces but also means access to information, technology, transport, services, aids, appliances and so on. Access, therefore, is an issue that cuts across disabilities and sectors and forms the very basis of empowerment of people with disabilities.
Over the years, Accessibility has come to occupy the most identifiable cause that has unified the global approach towards disability – across social, political and economic lives of people with disabilities.
"Accessibility is the bedrock of a disabled person's empowerment. Without basic accessibility, a disabled boy or a girl can't even go to school and disabled youth can't attend college or university. Even if educated or skilled, a job remains a far fetched dream unless the workforce is barrier free and one can reach there in terms of transportation, etc. No access means no freedom as far as we are concerned," said Javed Abidi, the Honorary Director of NCPEDP who himself is also a wheelchair user.
One key concept which is intrinsic to any kind of access is Universal Design, a design that is usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. Therefore, to bring awareness to the issue of accessibility and to promote the concept of Universal Design, NCPEDP in association with Mphasis constituted ‘The NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards’ in the year 2010 to honour individuals and organizations doing exemplary work in the area of accessibility for persons with disabilities.
said Dr. Meenu Bhambhani, VP & Head-Corporate Social Responsibility, Mphasis.
In the category of "persons with disabilities," Aqil Chinoy, CEO, INSPIRALIVE, Homiyar Mobedji, Country Representative, Benetech India, Suvarna Raj, Project Officer, Association for Disabled People, Vivek Mehta, Founder and CEO of Deaf Easy, bagged the awards.
The four winners in "working professionals", category are Hemang Mistry of PMA Design Studio, P. Narahari, District Magistrate & Collector of Indore, Ramesh C. Gaur, Librarian, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Siddhant Chetan Shah, Founder and Access Consultant, Access for ALL.
In the category of "companies/organisations", GingerMind Technologies, Hear2Read, Intuit India and UMOJA, won the awards.
Access symbolizes the true spirit of freedom as far as persons with disabilities are concerned. These Awards are therefore given away on 14th August, the eve of India’s Independence Day.
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) is a non-profit voluntary organisation, registered in 1996, working as an interface between Government, Industry, International Agencies and Voluntary Sector towards empowerment of persons with disabilities. In the past 21 years, NCPEDP has established itself as a leading cross-disability organisation. NCPEDP pioneered the concept of cross-disability in India, and formed the National Disability Network (NDN) in 1999 which has members from every State and Union Territory across the country. Since inception NCPEDP has successfully advocated several policy changes that have positively impacted lives of people with disabilities working across to encourage employment of disabled people, increase public awareness on the issue of disability, empower disabled people with knowledge, information and opportunities and ensure easy and convenient access to all public places, products, services and technologies. NCPEDP works on six core principles, also called the six pillars of the organization, namely: 1) Education; 2) Employment; 3) Accessibility; 4) Legislation/Policy; 5) Awareness/Communication, and 6) Youth. For more information, please visit www.ncpedp.org.
Mphasis enables customers to reimagine their digital future by applying a unique formula of integrated cloud and cognitive technology. Mphasis X2C2 TM formula for success, (shift anything to cloud and power everything with cognitive), drives five dimensions of business value with an integrated consumer-centric Front to Back Digital Transformation, enabling Business Operations and Technology Transformation. Mphasis applies advancements in cognitive and cloud to traditional application and infrastructure services to bring much needed efficiency and cost effectiveness. Mphasis’ core reference architectures and tools, combined with domain expertise and hyper specialization are the foundation for building strong relationships with marquee customers. For more information, please visit www.mphasis.com