Nominations Open: NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2021

New Delhi: National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), India’s leading disability rights-based advocacy organization is proud to announce the 12th edition of NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2021 to recognize the champions of Accessibility and Universal Design for people with disabilities (PwDs) and their contributions towards the cause. 

NCPEDP has long believed that the foundation of inclusion is accessibility. The awards were launched in 2010 in collaboration with Mphasis.

Every year, this distinguished honour is given to individuals and organizations who are making every effort to empower people with disabilities by building accessibility solutions, or universal design in the areas of education, work, infrastructure etc. NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards nominations are now open for 2021.

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.

Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP says “Accessibility means that a person with a disability receives the same information, engages in the same interactions, and enjoys the same services in an equally effective and integrated manner as an individual without a disability does, but the current pandemic and the inaccessible nature of our systems, particularly access to information, healthcare, and jobs have brought to the fore the importance of accessibility. Within days of the lockdown, work from home norm was adopted, with assistive technologies playing a critical role.

As a progressive nation, we must design everything with universal design principles in mind, or the world will fail people with disabilities once more. For years, these awards have been bringing forth some pathbreaking work into the public eye and this time we are looking for more innovative work from across India, particularly from the grassroots.

“The fallout of Covid-19 has impacted persons with disabilities disproportionately, with PwDs being one of the most impacted by pandemic restrictions. It has not only served to highlight the urgent need for incorporating accessibility into various everyday facets of our lives, but also showcased the strength of universal design in empowering PwDs and helping them lead independent and self-reliant lives. We must work collectively towards supporting research in the field and boosting design acceptance and adoption, and a key aspect to factor in is inputs from those with disabilities themselves. The availability of accessible, cost-effective software, devices, etc. will go a long way in supporting PwDs lead better lives, and through these awards, we hope to raise awareness for this important cause and promote the need for universal design,” said Srikanth Karra, CHRO, Mphasis.

The Awards cover accessibility in the following fields:

  1. Built Environment
  2. Transport
  3. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  4. Services
  5. Aids and Appliances
  6. Advocacy and Public Policy


2021 will see the 12th edition of the Awards and nominations are invited in the following 4 categories:

A: Persons with Disabilities – Awards in this category are given to People with Disabilities who have created an impact on Accessibility and Universal Design. The work that the person has done can be in policy framework, grass-root level implementation, design and development, access audits, or even rights movement/advocacy. Every year, 3 people across the country are recognized for the same.

B: Working Professionals – They may be the employee of an Educational Institute / NGO / Corporate Organization/Government Body that has taken up the cause or a consultant or freelancer who has devoted their time for furthering the cause. Their individual contribution to the cause is a major reason for the success achieved by the organization/firm/movement. They may also be an individual who is involved in the cause independent of any organizational support and has achieved significant success in the core objective of gaining accessibility for a Person with Disability. Every year, awards in this category are given out to 3 people across the country.

C: Companies / Organizations – Awards in this category are given to those companies or organizations that have taken up the cause of Accessibility and Universal Design in any of the areas mentioned above.  Companies / Organizations that have implemented recruiting or serving People with Disabilities and providing them equal opportunities to participate to the best of their abilities. These can be any type of Educational Institute / NGO / Corporate Organization / Government Body / Private Sector / Public Sector / Joint Sector / SME / Proprietorship / Partnership firms. Every year, awards in this category are given out to 4 companies/organizations across the country.

D: The NCPEDP-Mphasis Javed Abidi Public Policy Award for Universal Design is a category instituted in 2018 in memory of the late Mr Javed Abidi, to recognize advocacy efforts to promote accessibility and the principle of Universal Design. Two awards will be given under this category to individuals/organizations in the area of physical infrastructure, transport, ICT, products, and services doing exemplary work to create a level playing field for People with Disabilities to access the same opportunities and rights as all other citizens of India.

The last date for submitting nominations is Saturday, 7th  August 2021 and the nomination forms can be downloaded from the NCPEDP website The Awards will be presented on 28th September 2021.