Thursday, May 18, 2023

National Seminar in hybrid mode on “Breaking Barriers: Universal Design for Accessibility in the Built Environment” by BIS on 13 June 2023 (With Post Event updates)

Dear Accesssibility Enthusiasts,

As you are aware, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), is the National Standards Body of India, which is inter alia responsible for promotion of harmonious development in standardization and matters connected therewith, both within the country and at international level.  In line with its mandate, BIS is engaged in the establishment, publication, review and promotion of the Indian Standards, in relation to goods, articles, processes, systems and services.

Accessibility in the built environment refers to designing and constructing buildings, public spaces, and infrastructure that can be accessed and used by persons with disabilities.  Creating an accessible built environment is essential for addressing needs of older adults and persons with disabilities, promoting social inclusion, upholding human rights, supporting the economy, and meeting legal requirements.

Recently, the draft for revision of IS 4963 “Requirement for Accessibility in Built Environment for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities” (Second Revision) has been issued in Wide Circulation.  This document is an important guideline for architects, builders, and policymakers in ensuring that buildings and public spaces are accessible to older adults and persons with disabilities.

To sensitize the sensitize professionals, government organizations, academia, NGOs, accessibility specialists, important private organizations working for the welfare of elderly people and persons with disabilities and seek comments on the wide circulation draft, we are glad to invite you to this National seminar on “Breaking Barriers: Universal Design for Accessibility in the Built Environment”.  The seminar will highlight the importance of addressing the needs of elderly people and persons with disabilities in building construction.

In the Seminar the improvements and developments to the provisions existing in the National Building Code of India 2016 (Part 3 - Annex B), particularly the revision of IS 4963 will be disseminated, and interactions held.

Date of the Seminar: Tuesday, 13 June 2023

Time: 1000 Hrs onwards 

Venue: Dr Lal C Verman Conference Hall, Bureau of Indian Standards, Manak Bhawan, 9 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi 110 002, India.

Mode: Hybrid (in person as well as virtual), however, registration is compulsory.


Welcome address: Shri Arun Kumar S, Scientist E & Head, Civil Engineering Department, BIS

Theme Address:    Shri Sanjay Pant, Deputy Director General, (Standardization-II), BIS 

Sensitisation Talk on Specific Needs of Diverse Users :  Shri Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Accessibility, Universal Design & Diversity Inclusion, Accessibility Expert CPABE Level III (IAAP), Director, CABE Foundation

Accessibility in NBC2016:  Smt Madhurima Madhav, Scientist D/Joint Director, Civil Engineering Department, BIS

What’s new in IS 4963:   Shri Dheeraj Damachya, Scientist B/Assistant Director, Civil Engineering Department, BIS

Access the Brochure here: 

Post Event Update:

The seminar was attended by a large number of participants from across sectors and differnet geographies. Here are some visuals from the seminar:

Image of the National Seminar Banner

Image of Sh. Sanjay Pant, DDG, BIS welcoming Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth

Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth making his presentation at the National Seminar

Ms. Madhurima Madhav & Mr. Dheeraj Damachaya speaking at the seminar

Responding to Q&A Session, Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Mr. Dheeraj Damachaya and Mr. Arun S, Head CED

Group Photo of some of the in-person participants with speakers.

Seeking your comments on Revision to IS 4963:1987 Indian Standard on Requirement for accessibility in built environment for older adults and persons with disabilities

Dear colleagues,

Wish you a very Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2023!

As you may be aware, the CABE Foundation has been an active contributor to the formulation and revision of standards on accessibility and universal design in built enviornment in India. As a member of the Functional Requirements in Buildings Sectional Committee, CED 12, of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), we have been working on revision of Indian Standard IS 4963: 1987. 

The sectional committee had recently issued Document Number: CED12(22230)WC titled as "Requirement for accessibility in built environment for older adults and persons with disabilities" in Wide Circultion for public comments. The document is available on the   BIS Website.  

This document has the following salient features which may require specific attention for your valuable comments:

1)  This standard specifies the requirements of barrier free access to, movement within and around buildings, by the elderly persons and persons with disabilities who may have non-ambulatory disabilities, ambulatory disabilities, sight disabilities, hearing disabilities, etc.

2)  These requirements apply to all buildings and facilities open to and used by the public.  These shall also apply to all forms of public housing by the government/civic bodies or private developers.

3)  The reference to the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities, made in this standard shall also mean a reference to such needs of the elderly persons, children, women and persons of short stature / dwarfism in so far as the concerned provision is applicable to the type of disabilities that may be associated therewith.

The last date for sharing the comments is 01 June 2023. It will great to come together to examine the document and further improvise it in the larger interest of having an Indian Standard on universal design based built environment that meets the needs of all users, especially those with disabilities. You may like to share the comments on the document in the prescribed template through the ManakOnline portal at

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2023 once again!