National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

The Helen Keller Awards started in 1999 as a result of the findings of a survey conducted of the Top 100 Companies of India by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP). The results showed that the average percentage of employment of people with disabilities was as follows: in the public sector: 0.54 per cent; in the private sector: 0.28 per cent; and in the multinationals: 0.05 per cent. While the situation has improved to some extent in the past decade and a half, we are still not even close to covering half the percentage of persons with disabilities living in the country.
The goal of the NCPEDP Helen Keller Awards was to start a discourse on equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in the area of employment at a time when no one was even thinking about it. Organisations and employees with disabilities would become brand ambassadors for the cause of employment of persons with disabilities and take the momentum forward and role models would be identified and celebrated in an attempt to motivate and encourage others.
Each year a total of 10 Awards are given away – 3 each in the two individual categories and 4 for role model companies/organisations.The Awards are given under 3 categories:

Category A: Role Model Disabled Person Disabled persons from within the disability sector and outside who have been active as ambassadors of the cause of employment for persons with disabilities and are a positive role model for others.

Category B: Role Model Supporter of Increased Employment Opportunities for Disabled People Individuals from within the disability sector or outside who have contributed substantially to the cause of promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities over an extended period of time.

Category C: Role Model Companies/NGOs/Institutions Organisations from the disability sector or outside that have shown their commitment towards promoting equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Over the past 21 years, these Awards have come to be recognised as the most prestigious Indian benchmark for honouring people and organisations which have been working towards promoting employment opportunities for person with disabilities.
Mindtree
logo of THE NCPEDP - MINDTREE HELEN KELLER AWARDS

The NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards are conferred on individuals and organizations in 4 categories who have created an impact on accessibility and Universal Design in a personal or professional capacity.
In developing countries like India, this concept of accessibility and Universal Design has yet to attain popularity and that is what the Universal Design Awards do every year with a view to spreading awareness and popularizing the concept.
The disability rights movement advocates equal access for people with disabilities to social, political, and economic life, which includes not only physical access but access to the same tools, services, organisations and facilities which we all pay for. Over the years, accessibility has become the fulcrum of the global disability rights movement. 
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.
Instituted in 2010 by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) in partnership with Mphasis, the Awards have been recognised as the benchmark for best practices for accessibility for all, promoting local solutions with a focus on affordability, accessibility and scale.

The Universal Design Awards aim to spread awareness of accessibility and Universal Design. Every year, the awards are given away to those who have been doing exemplary work for these causes, thus ensuring a life of equality and dignity for people with disabilities across the country.

The Awards cover accessibility in the following fields:

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

To carry on Mr Abidi’s legacy, the Javed Abidi Public Policy Award was instituted in 2018. This award is given to an organization and an individual for their pioneering work in ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to the same opportunities and rights as all other citizens of India.

The Universal Design Awards have gained recognition and credibility over time which have encouraged more and more people to work in the field of Access and Universal Design.
Mphasis
Pan India
Logo of NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards

The NCPEDP-AIF Walk to Freedom

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (earlier International Day of Disabled Persons/World Disability Day) has been celebrated every year on 3rd December since 1992. Proclaimed and promoted by the United Nations, this international observance has marked the world over to intensify efforts aimed at sustained effective action with a view to improving the situation of persons with disabilities.
The celebrations are a means to come together, to debate and discuss the achievements of the disability sector and the way ahead. They provide a platform to engage other stakeholders, to share issues affecting people with disabilities and to work together to find and implement solutions to calibrate the way forward in a manner that ensures inclusion of people with disabilities in all future developments and policies adopted across Governments and the private sector.
We invite everyone – corporates, schools, colleges, universities, and others to join the many thousands of disabled people to walk in solidarity and in ‘Celebrating Inclusion’. The celebrations conclude with a short ‘Walk To Freedom’, symbolic of the work that yet needs to be done to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream society, allowing them to live their life with dignity and equality.
Creating visibility and awareness around the issues and concerns of people with disabilities among the masses at large.
American India Foundation (AIF)
India Gate, New Delhi
logo of Walk to Freedom

National Convention for Youth with Disabilities (NCYD)

Youth with disabilities often failed to voice their opinions and highlight their issues amongst the larger disability movement. To bridge this gap, NCPEDP had launched the NCYD to reach out to the youth with disabilities in the country.
The objective of the Convention is to expose the youth with disabilities to the social sector movement in India, including disability and other allied fields. This would help in identifying and inspiring the next generation leadership, not just in the Indian disability sector but across other sectors as well.
The Convention is held post an in-house survey of the top universities and colleges of India on the Status of Students with Disabilities in Higher Education. These universities and educational institutions are requested to nominate one male and one female student with disabilities for the Convention. The nominations go through a screening process and then the shortlisted candidates are invited to participate in the Convention. The Convention usually has around 50 – 75 participants from the top Universities and Colleges across the country and includes addresses and interactive sessions with well known voices of the social sector (including social entrepreneurs), senior leaders from the corporate world, bureaucrats and politicians to give a sense of direction to the disabled youth of our nation and to groom them into being ambassadors of change in whatever field they choose to enter after completing their education and in turn ensure that their stories help in creating more awareness and in breaking stereotypes of welfare and charity that are unfortunately still associated with disability in our society.
Advocated towards breaking the stereotype of a charity model towards people with disabilities.
The Hans Foundation (2013, 2014 and 2015), Accenture (2017)
Pan India
logo of National Convention for Youth with Disabilities (NCYD)