Two from Delhi win 2021 Universal Design Awards | Delhi News



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New Delhi: Two Delhiites were among the 12 winners of the 12th NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2021. While Madhav Ajay Lavakare, 20, was a winner in the professional category, Subhash Chandra Vashisth (48) won the Javed Abidi Prize for Public Policy.
In 2017, while Lavakare was in class XI, his hearing-impaired friend dropped out of school because daily communication was becoming an overwhelming problem.
Lavakare, a resident of Sunder Nagar, tried to understand the problem better and started looking for solutions to help his friend. He learned that most Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) people use a combination of assistive technology solutions for better communication, but they are often unaffordable, inconvenient, or inaccessible.
After five years of intensive research, Lavakare came up with TranscribeGlass, an assistive technology device for DHP and the elderly. It is an affordable, comfortable, accessible and convenient real-time captioning solution.
Vashisth is a lawyer and specialist in accessibility, universal design and diversity inclusion. The Mayapuri resident said: “I have worked for almost two decades on disability rights, inclusion, accessibility and universal design. I also took charge of several assignments and litigation on the rights of people with disabilities.
He is also a Professional Certified Expert in Accessible Built Environments Level III, the first in India to achieve this designation. He co-founded the Center for Accessibility in Built Environment Foundation in April 2016.
The awards were established in 2010 by the National Center for the Promotion of the Employment of People with Disabilities (NCPEDP) in partnership with Mphasis. Out of the total of 72 entries received this year, the jury announced 12 winners in different categories. The winners will be congratulated in a virtual ceremony on September 28.
Som Mittal, President of NCPEDP, said: “The past two years have further underscored the importance and urgency of addressing the accessibility and technology gaps. The Covid-19 crisis has hit people with disabilities the most. Universal design must be in the very DNA of every field, from technology to infrastructure.
“The pandemic has made us all realize that universal design will be a non-negotiable feature of all technologies, services and infrastructure in the future,” said NCPEDP Executive Director Arman Ali.

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