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Three Mumbai based organisations win NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2021

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The awards have been instituted in 4 categories and 12 awardees have been announced across these categories including a special jury award

Three organisations from Mumbai, Maharashtra have bagged the prestigious NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2021 for their exceptional work in the area of accessibility and Universal Design.

Samsara Paediacare (OPC): It is an assistive technology company, which has designed ‘Boond’, a feeder through which cleft babies are fed a drop at a time. Boond ensures that the cleft babies are fed safely from birth until year one through all milestone surgeries, in accordance with medical compliances.

Rymo Technologies: Their Mobi L support product is a portable robotic rehabilitation device helps individuals undergoing physiotherapy recover faster by providing personalised training. It occupies only 2sq ft of floor space and is 10 times more affordable in comparison to other products in the market.

India Signing Hands: The main objective of India Signing Hands is to develop the most feasible solution to the ongoing accessibility issues faced by the deaf population in India. ISH broadcasts daily news and entertainment online in deaf friendly accessible formats including visual images with titles, voice-over and closed captions. Moreover, it has developed ISL courses for parents who have children with hearing disability and also with doctors, public service officers’ employers encouraging them to communicate with customers who are deaf.

The NCPEDP Mphasis Universal Design Awards which were instituted in 2010 by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) in partnership with Mphasis, announced the awardees for its 12th edition after a jury meet on 15th September.

The awards have played a significant role in encouraging and recognising all efforts in the field of universal design and accessibility.

Accessibility is not only restricted to physical spaces. It also includes access to information, technology, transport, services, aids and appliances etc. Access, therefore, is an issue that cuts across disabilities and sectors and forms the very basis of empowerment of people with disabilities. A concept that is intrinsic to any kind of access is ‘Universal Design’, which means a design that is usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. This could mean the built environment, technology, transport, and so on. Universal Design accommodates people with disabilities, older people, children, and others who are non-average in a way that is not stigmatizing and benefits all users.

This year around 72 applications were received from across the country and even overseas. The jury for the prestigious award comprised of Som Mittal, Chairman, NCPEDP; Shilpi Kapoor, Founder and CEO,Barrier Break; Nipun O S, AVP and Head-CSR, Mphasis; Pulkit Aggarwal, Investment Director – Assistive Technologies, Social Alpha; and Gaurav Raheja, Head Department of Architecture & Planning, Joint Faculty, Department of Design, IIT- Roorkee.

Mittal said, “The last two years have further highlighted the importance and urgency to bridge the gaps in accessibility and technology. The Covid 19 crisis has impacted the disabled the most. Universal Design has to be in the very DNA in every field from technology to infrastructure. No aspect of our daily existence can be ignored for an equal and comprehensive world vision – Universal Design is the way to scale this.”

“In the 12 year of NCPEDP-Mphasis it is heart-warming to see that efforts in the field of universal design and accessibility continued in spite of the pandemic. The pandemic has made all of us realize that universal design would be a non-negotiable feature to all technologies, services and infrastructure, in future. The large number of applications received are a testimony to the fact that the concept has started to capture the imagination of our youth, though there is still a long way to go” says Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP.

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