Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders: A Day of Accessibility Training with CRPF's Assistant Commandants (Engineers)

A selfie of the faculty Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth with learners in the background. A training slide is visible on the screen behind them.
Participants posing for a selfie with Mr. Subhash Vashishth 
On June 25, 2024, the Centre for Accessibility in Built Environment (CABE) Foundation had the privilege of spearheading a full-day training program for a batch of Assistant Commandant (Engineers) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) conducted by the National CPWD Academy(NCA). This session was part of a comprehensive 10-week technical training program designed by to induct these promising officers into their new roles. The experience was both inspiring and enriching, with a total of 19 officers benefiting from our focused discussions and hands-on learning activities. The training was led by Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Co-Founder & Director, CABE Foundation as the faculty.

Key Areas of Focus

The training program aimed to equip these future leaders with essential knowledge and skills in several critical areas:

1. Disability Equity and Ableism: We explored the concepts of disability equity, the harmful impacts of ableism, and how to foster an inclusive mindset within their professional environments.

2. Disability Law and Policy Framework: Understanding the legal and policy frameworks that govern disability rights in India is crucial. We delved into the intricacies of these laws to ensure that our officers are well-versed in the legalities and can advocate effectively for inclusion of the needs of individuals with disabilities, older adults and children when they design or maintain buildings and campus of the police units.

3. Accessible India Campaign:  This government initiative aims to make India more accessible to people with disabilities. We discussed the goals, achievements, and ongoing efforts of the campaign, emphasizing the role that these officers can play in supporting its objectives.

4. Universal Design in Buildings and Built Environments: Creating spaces that are accessible to all is fundamental to promoting inclusivity. We covered the principles of universal design and how to apply them in their engineering projects.

5. National Building Code of India and IS 4963 Updates: The National Building Code (NBC) is a comprehensive guideline for the construction of buildings. We examined the accessibility provisions within the NBC, including the latest updates to the Indian Standard 4963, ensuring that our officers are equipped with the most current knowledge.

Vibrant Energy and Commitment

The enthusiasm and energy displayed by these young officers were truly remarkable. Despite being only the second day of their intensive 10-week training, their eagerness to learn and engage with the material was palpable. This positive learning environment not only facilitated effective knowledge transfer but also inspired our trainers.

A Heartfelt Thank You

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the National CPWD Academy for inviting us as a Resource Faculty for this vital training program. It was an honor to contribute to the professional development of these dedicated officers who will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping a more inclusive and accessible India.

- Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on our training programs and initiatives aimed at promoting accessibility and inclusion in built environments.

Friday, March 01, 2024

Successful Completion of 3rd Capsule Course on NBC 2016 - Accessibility in Buildings and Built Environment at NITS Noida during 28-29 Feb 2024

Dear Accessibility Enthusiasts,

This is in continuation to our earlier post dated 05 Feb 2024 inviting participants to register for this 3rd capsure course.  

The Event

On February 28-29, 2024, the National Institute of Training for Standardization (NITS), Noida, India, hosted the 3rd Capsule Course on "National Building Code 2016 - Accessibility in Buildings & Built Environment." 

CABE Foundation is happy to have contributed to this third consecutive capsule course conducted by the Bureau of Indian Standards at NITS focussing on accesssibility.  

Group photo of the participants with Faculty
Fig. Participants and Faculty gathered for the 3rd Capsule Course on NBC 2016 - Accessibility in Buildings and Built Environment


The two-day course attracted a wide range of participants, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of accessibility and universal design. Among the attendees were:

1. Representatives from NGOs advocating for inclusive and accessible school buildings.

2. Professionals working directly with persons with disabilities, including educators, therapists, and community organizers.

3. Access auditors and their teams comprising architects, engineers, and accessibility specialists.

4. Architects, engineers, builders, and contractors interested in integrating accessibility standards into their projects.

5. Academicians from universities and research institutions contributing to the advancement of knowledge in accessibility and inclusive design.

A faculty member presenting during a session
Fig. Expert faculty sharing insights on the National Building
Code 2016 and its accessibility provisions


It was noteworthy that the capsule course attracted atleast eight persons with disabilities out of which three were wheelchair users while others were ambulatory disabilities. 

The capsule course also saw inquisitive participation from Latika Roy Memorial Foundation who are currently in the process of constructing their model accessible school at Dehraun and wanted to ensure through this course that they create a accessibility compliant role model building for others to emulate. For this very reason they also ensured that their project architects also attended this course. Besides them, there were representative from three organisations that have been recently empanelled as access auditors by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities along with their architects who attended this training to brush up their accessibility knowledge.

Throughout the two days, participants engaged in comprehensive discussions on various aspects of accessibility in buildings and the built environment. The course covered key topics from the National Building Code 2016, practical approaches to implementing accessibility standards, and strategies for retrofitting existing buildings to enhance their usability for persons with disabilities and diverse user groups. The focus of the faculty was to emphasise that universal design based built environment was the new writing on the wall and we must be early adopters of this, both- as professionals and as users.

Attendees exchanging ideas and experiences during a networking tea break
Fig. Attendees exchanging ideas and experiences
during a networking break

It was discussed despite a wonderful legal and policy framework, the larger issues remained with lack of appropriate implementation at the ground level due to various factors, lack of professional knowledge among implementing officials being one of them. 

Way ahead

The success of this 3rd Capsule Course demonstrates the growing recognition of the importance of accessibility and universal design in India's construction and urban planning sectors. It also highlights the collaborative efforts of government bodies, NGOs, and industry professionals in working towards a more inclusive built environment.

Certificate presentation to a participant.
Fig. Dr. Navneet Wadhwa, a 
participant receiving his certificate of
completion at the end of the course
As we move forward, the knowledge and connections forged during this course will undoubtedly contribute to the ongoing efforts to make India's buildings and public spaces more accessible and inclusive for all.


We extend our gratitude to Bureau of Indian Standards for the opportunity to contribute to the National Building Code 2016 and the IS 4963 and also lead this  3rd capsule course. The active engagement of participants from diverse backgrounds also made the capsule course a resounding success. Their commitment to accessibility and inclusivity is a vital step towards creating a more equitable society for all.

Some participants posing for a selfie with the Faculty
Fig. Some participants posing for a selfie with the faculty, Mr. Subhash C. Vashishth

- Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on our training programs and initiatives aimed at promoting accessibility and inclusion in built environments.

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Invitation to sign up for free virtual event "Network & Learn" organised by AbilityNet and BarrierBreak in association with IAAP on 15 Feb 2024 [prior registration required]

Dear Colleagues,

IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals), AbilityNet and BarrierBreak are continuing the popular ‘Network & Learn’ events in 2024. They're kicking off this year's popular Network and Learn session on 15th February at 6.30 pm IST.

Image of Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth in a white shirt, smiling.
Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth
The guest speaker for the session is Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director of Centre for Accessibility in Built Environment Foundation (CABE Foundation) and is an Accessibility, Universal Design & Diversity Inclusion Specialist, working on standards, capacity building, access audits & advocacy. As an Expert Member on the Bureau of Indian Standards Committee for National Building Code & Smart Cities, he has contributed to standards formulation incorporating universal accessibility. Read more about him here

He will be discussing why the IAAP CPABE is critical to implementing accessibility, his career progression within the accessibility space and how he thinks certification benefits professionals.

The events are especially for UK and India Chapter IAAP members, plus anyone considering becoming a member.

The virtual event is not only a networking session where members and potential members can share accessibility tips and expertise, but it also acts as an event to help build and strengthen our community for accessibility professionals.

Network & Learn is organized by BarrierBreak and AbilityNet in association with IAAP with the aim to build a community around accessibility professionals. The session will be hosted by Ms. Shilpi Kapoor, IAAP, India Chapter Leader and founder of BarrierBreak and Mr. Mark Walker - Head of Marketing & Portfolio of AbilityNet will be hosting the networking.

There is no fee to join the event, however, registration/Signing up is mandatory. For more information on IAAP, please visit: https://www.accessibilityassociation.org/s/


Event Name:  Network & Learn

Hosted by: Ms. Shilpi Kapoor and Mr. Mark Walker

Guest on the Event: Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, CPABE Level III Expert and Country Advisor India- G3ict 

Mode, Date and Time: Virtual Event, 15 Feb 2024, 6.30 PM- 7.30 PM, Indian Standard Time

Fee :  No Fee but registration required.

How to register: Sign up here

Make sure to sign up to the event today!

Monday, February 05, 2024

Invitation for the 3rd Capsule course on NBC 2016 – Accessibility in Buildings and Built Environment to held during 28-29 Feb 2024 at NITS Noida

Dear Accessibility Enthusiasts,

Capsule Course Banner
Fig. Course Banner
After the well received first in-person capsule course and second in-person capsule course 
on "National Building Code 2016 - Accessibility in Buildings & Built Environment" in July and Nov 2023 at National Institute of Training on Standardization (NITS) Noida, India,  here we come with 3rd Capsule Course on the subject.

CABE Foundation is happy to contribute to this capsule course being conducted by the Bureu of Indian Standards. You are invited to attend this Course scheduled to be held as per the details hereinbelow:

Who should attend?
Professionals and officials involved in land development and building construction whether in ULBs or Development Agencies or Private Players, establishents- whether governement or private. All those concerned with city planning, building regulation, and planning, design, construction and maintenance of buildings and built assets and facilities;  Teachers/Faculty of architecutre, civil engineering, design, urban planning, construction engineering etc.;  professional architects and civil engineers, persons with disabilities wanting to be self advocates and NGO leaders working in disability space. The course will also benefit those interested in accessibility in buildings and surveying the usability of the building for persons with disabilities and other diverse usergroups from the perspective of Universal Design or carrying out retrofitting in existing buildngs to make them accessible.  It will also help DEI professional, consultants to ensure that built environment meets the needs of diverse usergroups at the workplaces.

Course Schedule & Duration
The Course is of 2 days duration scheduled during 28 -29 Feb, 2024.

Venue:     National Institute of Training for Standardization (NITS)
         A 20-21, Institutional Area, Sector 62, NOIDA-201301(UP), India 
                Tel : +91-120-4670238, Email - nits@bis.gov.in 
                Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/i5ZxXVemzhwb7TMF8

Course Fee :  INR 1,500/- only for the 2-day Course* (*Plus applicable GST). 

Hostel Facilities: The hostel facilities can be availed, if needed at NITS, Noida on chargeable basis which includes Breakfast & Dinner.

Course Brochure: Download here PDF 2 MB

How to Apply?

1. Online Portal: Application has to be made through BIS Training Portal www.manakonline.in, as explained below, latest by 21 July 2023.:- 
    • VISIT the E-BIS Website: www.manakonline.in
    • CLICK on the "Training" Head
    • LOGIN by clicking on the blue "LOGIN" button on the top right corner
    • SIGNUP by clicking on "SIGNUP" on the Member Login Page if you are not a member otherwise "SIGN IN" using your credentials
    • FILL OUT all the fields and click on "REGISTER" and complete the registration process. 
    • CHOOSE the course you want to apply for, fill in the required information and "PAY" the requisite fee.
2. By Email: Alternatively, you can also E-mail the filled up application form to nits@bis.gov.in. (Download the application Form MS Word 8KB

Criteria for Selection and Batch Size
  • Selection on First come First serve basis subject to availability of seats
  • Batch size – 40 
Certification: Certificate of participation on completion of the course.

  1. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director at CABE Foundation, Specialist- Accessibility, Universal Design & Diversity Inclusion, Accessibility Expert CPABE Level III (IAAP), Member of BIS Technical Committees- CED12, CED59, LITD35, SSD 09:03 etc. & Empaneled Access Audit Trainer (under Accessible India Campaign), Govt. of India 
  2. Shri T.D. Dhariyal,  Executive Director- CABE Foundation
  3. Ms. Madhurima Madhav, Scientist 'D' & Jt Director (Civil Engg.), Bureau of Indian Standards

Saturday, February 03, 2024

Empowering Change: Reflections on the Panel Discussion for Inclusive and Accessible Cities at Noida Utsav organised by SIDBI & NASVI

Mr. Subhash Vashishth leading the discussion on "Making Cities Inclusive and Accessible for the Differently Abled". Speakers: Mr. Rajendran (NEDAR), Mr. Sonu Ram and Ms. Kishwar.
Mr. Vashishth leading the discussion
On the breezy yet sunlit afternoon of February 3, 2024, at NOIDA UTSAV, an electrifying panel discussion unfolded under the banner of "Making Cities Inclusive and Accessible for the Differently Abled." The event, organized by NASVI and SIDBI at Noida Haat, was a testament to the commitment towards creating a more inclusive urban landscape. The panel, curated by NEDAR Foundation and CABE Foundation, was skillfully moderated by our Director, Subhash Chandra Vashishth.

The Panel had three speakers in addition to Mr. Vashishth. Mr. Rajendran of NEDAR Foundation, Mr. Sonu Ram, a person who has organised grass root self help groups of persons with disabilitiess in outer Delhi and Ms. Kishwar, a women entrepreneur who vends regularly in weekly haats who shared their expreiences of challenges they face, opportunities they explored and what do they think is the way forward. 

Mr. Vashishth with panel Speakers Mr. Rajendran (NEDAR), Mr. Sonu Ram and Ms. Kishwar posing wth entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Panelists posing for a photo with disabled entrepreneurs 

Key Takeaways from the Panel Discussion:

1. Street Vendors: Unsung Heroes of Entrepreneurship

The discussion shed light on the fact that many street vendors are individuals with disabilities. As entrepreneurs, they engage in street vending activities not only for livelihood but also for self-reliance. The panel emphasized the need for equal opportunities and enhanced accessibility in the infrastructure of vending spaces and sanitary facilities near vending zones which is a crucial element of inclusion particularly for women vendors with disabilities.

2. Representation on Town Vending Committees

A crucial takeaway was the call for the representation of persons with disabilities on the Town Vending Committees established under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014. This step is vital in ensuring that policies are inclusive and considerate of the unique challenges faced by differently-abled street vendors.

Mr. Vashishth with panel Speakers Mr. Rajendran (NEDAR) and Ms. Kishwar posing at the NEDAR stall at the NOIDA Utsav
Mr. Vashishth with entrepreneurs at the NEDAR stall 

3. Mainstream Organizations: Catalysts for Change

NASVI and similar mainstream organizations were encouraged to include street vendors with disabilities and disability experts on their advisory bodies. Informed decisions and robust advocacy are essential for protecting the legitimate rights of the differently-abled, making the journey towards inclusion more effective.

4. Urban Planning for Accessibility

The discussion pointed out the critical role of urban planning authorities (Urban Local Bodies) in creating accessible vending zones. Recommendations included incorporating accessible features in built spaces and information and communication services (such as apps), reserving 5% of spaces for disabled vendors, and providing additional areas for parking mobility devices, wheelchairs, tricycles, or specially designed accessible vending carts.

5. Coexistence of Accessibility and Livelihood

A fundamental principle emerged from the dialogue: the right of accessibility and the right of livelihood must coexist as complementary factors. When notifying an area as a "vending zone," local authorities should ensure that footpaths, sidewalks, pavements, or streets remain accessible and usable by pedestrians and persons with disabilities, without being encroached upon by vendors.


In conclusion, the enthusiasm and engagement witnessed during this panel discussion serve as a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to create a more inclusive and accessible world. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all participants for their valuable contributions. Let's continue working together, fostering an #InclusiveCities movement and championing the cause of #DifferentlyAbledEntrepreneurs. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the #EmpowermentJourney towards true #InclusionChampioning.

Special thanks to #SIDBI and #NASVI for their dedicated efforts in making this impactful dialogue possible and #NEDARFoundation and #CABEFoundation for initiating Inclusion discussion. The journey has just begun; let's continue striving for a world where inclusivity is not just a goal but a reality.

#InclusiveCities #AccessibilityAdvocate #EmpowermentJourney #InclusionChampion

Friday, January 19, 2024

"Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla Memorial Award 2024" to our Executive Director, Shri T. D. Dhariyal

New Delhi, 19 January 2024

Photo of Barrister Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla
Barrister Late Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla
We are extremely happy and proud to share that our Executive Director, Shri Thakur Datt Dhariyal was conferred with the prestigious "Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla Memorial Award 2024" by the National Association for the Blind, India, during a colourful event held in Mumbai on 19th January 2024 to celebrate the 73rd Foundation Day of National Association for the Blind, India (NAB, India).

Shri Dhariyal was conferred this honour under the category "Professional Worker" for his relentless services for the empowerment of Persons with visual dissabilities. See the CITATION towards the end of this spost.

Barrister Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla in whose memory these awards were instituted was the founder President of the National Association for the Blind, India formed  in 1952 in Bombay. The Awards were instituted by NAB, India in 1972.

Mr. TD Dhariyal receiving the
Rustom Merwani Alpaiwalla Award 2024
NAB, India initiated an annual felicitation ceremony to recognize and appreciate the unsungheroes who contributed their time, money, skills and expertise in improving the quality of life and shaping the future of people with vision loss. This felicitation ceremony set off the first edition of the Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla Memorial Awards in 1973 - on NAB, India's Foundation Day - January 19. Over the years the Association instituted some more Awards mostly for visually challenged achievers who excelled in their professions - The Neelum KhurshedKanga Awards for visually challenged women and the Late Mrs. P. D. Khambatta Awards.

We congratulate Mr. TD Dhariyal on this recognition and honour for his relentlesss services as a professional in this space.


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

A Court for All: Transforming Accessibility in India's Supreme Court [Report Included]

Dear Colleagues,

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, the Supreme Court of India has embarked on a journey to address accessibility issues for persons with disabilities, women, and senior citizens. This monumental effort was underscored by the release of the report titled “A Court for All: Paving the Way for Accessibility in the Supreme Court for Persons with Disabilities, Women and Senior Citizens” in October 2023, by the Supreme Court Committee on Accessibility.

The report serves as a mirror reflecting the stark realities faced by marginalized groups within the judicial system. For too long, individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, and senior citizens have encountered formidable barriers hindering their access to justice. These barriers, ranging from physical infrastructure inadequacies to functional service limitations, have not only impeded their physical access but also undermined their dignity and rights within the corridors of justice.

Physical accessibility challenges highlighted in the report include the absence of wheelchair-friendly amenities, unclear signage, inadequate tactile flooring, and insufficient designated seating in courtrooms and waiting areas. These deficiencies not only hinder mobility but also symbolize the exclusionary nature of the justice system.

Moreover, the report sheds light on functional service challenges, such as the lack of sign language interpreters, inadequate technology for the visually impaired, and inaccessible online resources. These issues not only inconvenience but also perpetuate systemic discrimination against marginalized groups.

However, the report goes beyond mere identification of problems; it offers pragmatic recommendations for improvement. From introducing accessible route maps and refurbishing key facilities to enhancing online platforms and ensuring the availability of sign language interpreters, the recommendations pave the way for a more inclusive judicial system.

Nevertheless, while the report provides a comprehensive overview of accessibility issues, there are areas where it could further elaborate. Specific details regarding financing or budget allocations for the recommended changes, as well as detailed implementation plans with monitoring mechanisms, are notable omissions that warrant attention.

It is pertinent to share that the Committee had solicited feedback from individuals with disabilities and disability rights experts through questionnaires, to arrive at recommendations that meet the diverse needs of stakeholders.

Furthermore, the Committee's focus on understanding the unique challenges faced by women, particularly during pregnancy, and senior citizens also reflected a commitment to inclusivity at every level of the judicial process. Additionally, attention had been given to the specific needs outlined in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017, highlighting the importance of accommodating individuals with diverse health conditions.

The diverse composition of the Committee, comprising experts from various fields, underscores the collaborative effort to drive meaningful change. With inputs from accessibility experts, legal professionals, and representatives from the Supreme Court Bar Association, the Committee has leveraged a wealth of expertise to develop comprehensive recommendations.

As the Supreme Court endeavors to operationalize these recommendations, it is imperative to recognize that ensuring accessibility is an ongoing commitment. Robust monitoring mechanisms and timely reviews are essential to ensure that the recommendations translate into tangible improvements within the prescribed timelines.

In essence, “A Court for All” is not just a report; it is a testament to the Supreme Court's commitment to upholding the principles of equality and justice for all. As we embark on this journey towards inclusivity, let us heed the call to action articulated in the report and work collectively towards building a more accessible and equitable future for India.

Read the report- A Court for All, here:

Friday, January 12, 2024

CABE participated in International Purple Fest 2024 and contributed to Convention on Accessibility Standards and Law Clinic- Access to Justice

Panaji, Goa,  Dated 12 January 2024

CABE Foundation contributed to the International PurpleFest 2024 in two of the important events:

(a) Purple Convention on Accessibility Standard Session. 
The event was organized by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), titled "Accessible and Inclusive Digital India - Putting IS-17802 Standard into action" on Friday January 12th, 2024.

Mr. Vashishth speaking at the Convention.
Mr.Vashishth, speaking at the convention
Our Director, Subhash Chandra Vashishth represented the Foundation at the Fest. He spoke on the legal framework of IS 17802 Accessibility of ICT Products and Services, case laws and physical access to ICT products and services.
Participants at the convention

IS-17802, is an Indian Standard issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards, focuses on accessibility for ICT products and services. Recently notified for compliance under Rule 15 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, this standard is a significant step toward creating an inclusive digital environment in India.  Mr. Vashishth has also been a member of the BIS Technical Committee that produced this standard and he has been actively championing its adoption among relevant stakeholders. 

Let's join forces to boost awareness among stakeholders to enhance uptake of IS-17802. Together, we can make a substantial impact on ensuring that products and services are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Convention schedule:

(b) Master Classes: Law Clinic- Access to Justice & Redressals

Collage of images from the Law Clinic-Access to Justice
Collage of Pictures of Law Clinic- Access to Justice
This event was curated by Rising Flame focusing on empowerment and justice. In this law clinic with Ms. Kanchan Pamnani and Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth,  explored disability and the experiences of discrimination. How do we navigate redressal and what role can the law play? The session also focussed on the law and access to justice through the story of Purple Ambassador Sonali who's legal struggle reminded us about the collective work for justice and a world free of violence.

Thank you Purple Fest Goa for providing this platform for promoting larger disability inclusion through awareness raising on standards and way ahead for its adoption!

Empowering the Legal Fraternity: Insights from the Delhi Judicial Academy's Core Competence Conference

New Delhi,  12 Jan 2024

The Delhi Judicial Academy (DJA) recently organized a groundbreaking event, the 'Core Competence Conference for Knowledge, Skill & Perspective Development,' specifically tailored for Metropolitan Magistrates (N.I. Act). Held on January 12, 2024, this conference aimed at enhancing the capabilities of judicial officials and fostering a deeper understanding of crucial legal aspects.

Key Speakers and Topics:

Mr. TD Dhariyal seen on the stage with Dr. Aditi Chaudhary, Director DJA along with other Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, ADJ. The background has slide deck detailing the session.
Sh. TD Dhariyal, Dr. Aditi Chaudhary (centre),
Sh. Rakesh Kumar Singh & leadership of DJA
The highlight of the event was the address by Shri TD Dhariyal, the Executive Director of CABE Foundation, who delved into the significant subject of  "Protecting Constitutional & Legal Rights." His focus was on ensuring Access to Justice for Individuals with Disabilities, shedding light on both visible and invisible disabilities, court infrastructure, challenges, and viable solutions. Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, Additional District Judge (ADJ), North-West, Rohini, added valuable insights by discussing procedural issues, including territorial jurisdiction, limitation, complaints involving juristic persons, serving the substance of accusations, conversion of summary trials to summons, and digital recording of evidence.

Wide Participation and Impact:

With over 150 judicial officials in attendance, the conference provided a platform for an extensive exchange of ideas and knowledge. The insights shared by the speakers are expected to have a lasting impact on the judicial officers undergoing training, enabling them to better address the needs of persons with disabilities.

Enhancing Accessibility:

A core theme of the conference was the commitment to making court processes more disabled-friendly and accessible. The knowledge imparted during the event is anticipated to empower judicial professionals to ensure reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, be it as a litigant, accused, witness, or legal professional on any side of the bar.


By addressing crucial issues surrounding access to justice for persons with disabilities, the 'Core Competence Conference' has taken a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable legal system. As judicial officers apply these insights in their respective roles, we can hope for positive changes that enhance the overall effectiveness of our legal processes.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Supreme Court Launches Initiative for Public Input by 31 Jan 2024 to Combat Stereotypes Against Persons with Disabilities in Legal Settings

Dear Colleagues,

In a groundbreaking move for 2023, the Supreme Court has embarked on a crucial initiative to address harmful stereotypes against individuals with disabilities within the legal realm. Following the successful unveiling of the 'Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes,' which aimed to guide legal professionals away from detrimental language related to women, the Supreme Court is extending its commitment to inclusivity. The court is now set to launch a parallel handbook dedicated to combatting prejudicial language and stereotypes surrounding individuals with disabilities.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, grants specific rights and benefits to individuals with disabilities, including those with "high support needs". However, to give real meaning to these rights, it is essential for the enforcing courts to be well-versed in and sensitive to the challenges faced by persons with disabilities. This understanding extends beyond addressing physical requirements; it involves comprehending and responding to the diverse challenges encountered within the legal system. Overcoming stereotypes about persons with disabilities is crucial, as these biases can introduce unfairness into legal proceedings, affecting the impartiality of outcomes.

Stereotypes often depict individuals with disabilities as less competent or reliable, unfairly influencing judicial proceedings, including the credibility of testimonies and the recognition of rights and responsibilities in legal contexts. By actively dismantling these stereotypes and ensuring that courts understand and support the needs of individuals with disabilities, the legal system can evolve into a more inclusive and just entity, reflecting the diversity of the society it serves. This commitment to accessibility and fairness not only benefits individuals with disabilities but also strengthens the integrity and equity of the legal system on a broader scale.

To encourage engagement from diverse stakeholders and gather a comprehensive range of perspectives, the Supreme Court of India has invited input on the following issues:

1. Proposing inclusive terminology suitable for addressing Persons with Disabilities, encompassing their needs and the issues affecting them.

2. Identifying inaccurate or harmful stereotypes about persons with disabilities that contribute to discrimination, distorted legal reasoning, or the denial of legal rights or benefits, along with strategies to counteract such stereotypes.

3. Recommending primary legal materials and academic literature that can be relied upon in formulating a Handbook on Combating Stereotypes concerning Persons with Disabilities.

All interested stakeholders are invited to share their insights by completing the form at the following link: https://forms.gle/bbyQGQ1VqZmyVXSo8 on or before 31 Jan 2024.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Election Commission of India takes intiatives for accessible elections and respectful language for persons with Disabilities

The very foundation of democracy lies in representation of all communities in the electoral process including persons with disabilitiess. Accessible and Inclusive elections have therefore, been a non-negotiable priority for the Election Commission of India  (ECI) in particular to ensure equal participation of Persons with Disabilities. Section of 11 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016  provides as under:

"11. Accessibility in voting. - The Election Commission of India and the State Election Commissions shall ensure that all polling stations are accessible to persons with disabilities and all materials related to the electoral process are easily understandable by and accessible to them."

ECI has been striving to promote the principle of accessibility and inclusivity in the elections in line with the above mandate and understaken several intiatives.

Training Module on Sensitization of Field Level Officess

To the above effect, the ECI Team has prepared detailed "Training Module on Sensizitation and Capacity Building  of Field Level Officers on Accessibility Measures"  (visit Link to Training Module PDF 17 MB)

Advisory against use of Derogratory or offensie language about Persons with Disabilities

Off late, the Commission was been made aware of use of derogatory or offensive language in the political discourse about Persons with Disabilities. Usage of such semantics in speech/ campaign by members of any political parties or their candidates, can be interpreted as an affront to Persons with Disabilities.

Common examples of ableist language are words like dumb (gunga), retarded (pagal, sirphira), blind (andha, kana), deaf (behra), lame (langda, lula, apahij) etc. It is necessary to avoid usage of such derogatory language. PwDs have to be accorded, justice and respect in political discourse.

Thus to promote inclusivity and respect in the language of political campaigns and related communications, ECI has issued following guidelines to all political parties and their representatives on conduct towards Persons with disabilities.

The Advisory and press release can be accessed at the links below:

Link to ECI Advisory to Political Parties in respect of PwDs dated 20 Dec 2023 

Link to Press Release by ECI dated 21 Dec 2023 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

2nd Capsule course on NBC 2016 – Accessibility in Buildings and Built Environment to held during 29-30 Nov 2023 at NITS Noida

Dear Ally enthusiasts,

After the well received first in-person two day capsule course on "National Building Code 2016 - Accessibility in Buildings & Built Environment" in July 2023 at National Institute of Training on Standardization (NITS) Noida, India,  there were a number of requests to hold it again. 

The 2nd of this series, this course was conducted during 29 - 30 November 2023 at NITS the state-of-the art training arm of Bureau of Indian Standard. The faculty included  Sh. Subhash Chandra Vashishth and Shri TD Dhariyal (CABE Foundation) and Smt. Madhurima Madhav (BIS).

Participants posing for a picture
The event saw enthusiastic participation from a diverse audience, including representatives from government agencies such as DDA, Bangalore Metro Rail, students of architecutre and design, practicing architects, Industry representatives, product manufacturers and Professors of Architecture of a private University among others. Together, we took a significant step towards creating a more inclusive society. 

The Capsule Course aimed to foster a better understanding of accessibility norms and guidelines outlined in the National Building Code. By promoting accessible designs and infrastructure, we are committed to ensuring that every person, regardless of ability or age, can navigate our buildings and public spaces with ease and dignity. 

We once again extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Bureau of Indian Standards for spearheading this crucial initiative, and to all the participants who made this event a grand success! Let's continue working together to build a world where everyone's needs are considered and valued.

Stay tuned for the call / invitation for the third course of the series in the month of Feb/March 2024 as we work together towards a more accessible and inclusive future for all! 


#access2buildings #AccessibilityMatters #inclusivity #BIS #AccessibleIndiaCampaign #CABEFoundation #empowerment #SocialChange #InclusiveSociety #InclusivityMatters #BuildingForAll #AccessibilityInBuiltEnvironment #SocialImpact #TogetherWeCan

Friday, November 03, 2023

CABE Foundation collaborates with United Nations ESCAP to conduct a 2-day Training Program for Delhi Municipal Officers to Make Parks and Gardens Inclusive for All through Universal Design

Press Release

New Delhi, 03 Nov 2023 

In an initiative aimed at fostering inclusivity and accessibility for all, a comprehensive training program for municipal officials titled "Making Parks and Gardens Inclusive for All through Universal Design" was held during 02-03 November 2023 in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The program was a collaborative effort between the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Delhi (SCPD), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), and the Centre for Accessibility in Built Environment Foundation (CABE Foundation). The UNESCAP and the CABE Foundation spearheaded and conducted the training program.

Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director welcoming the participants in inaugural session.
Inaugural Session of the 2 day training. Seen on the dias, Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director CABE Foundation, speaking; and seated on dias (from left to right) Mr. TD Dhariyal, ED, CABE Foundation; Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, Director of the Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia, United Nations ESCAP ; Mr. Amit Kumr Sharma, Addl Commisioner (Horticulture)MCD; Air Cmde Ranjan Mukherjee, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and Dr. Alok Singh, Director in Chief (Horticulture), MCD.

This training program was designed to address the pressing issue of accessibility in public spaces for diverse users particularly persons with disabilities, with a special focus on parks and gardens. The program itinerary included an array of sessions covering various aspects of inclusive park design and understanding the specific needs of individuals with disabilities. It also delved into international and national frameworks for disability inclusion.

Mr. TD Dhariyal, Executive Director, CABE Foundation speaking
Mr. TD Dhariyal speaking
Mr. TD Dhariyal, Executive Director of the CABE Foundation, delivered the opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of making public spaces more inclusive and accessibility directly relates to ensuring dignity of an individual with disability.  He also stated that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 has clear mandate to ensure accessibility in public spaces and strict provisions for contravention.

Mr. Amit Kumar Sharma, Additional Commissioner (Horticulture), MCD, in his opening address exhorted the participants to be more empathetic to the needs of seniors, women, children and person with disabilities. 

Dr. Alok Singh from MCD speaking
Dr. Alok Singh speaking
Dr. Alok Kumar Singh Director in Chief, Horticulture in his address highlighted the MCD's commitment to the cause and to take forward the learnings from the program to make measurable changes on the ground to enhance accessibility and usability of their diverse parks. Mr. RK Singh and Mr. Ashish Priyadarshi, both Directors Horticulture were also pressent and played an important role in organsing the present training program.

SCPD Delhi Air Commodore Ranjan Mukherjee speaking
Air Cmde Ranjan Mukherjee addressing
Air Commodore Ranjan Mukherjee VSM (Retd), State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, GNCT of Delhi underscored the significance of diversity inclusion in built environment as disability could happen to anyone any time and our infrastructure needs to gear up to meet the needs of its users. He shared several of his case judgements on the subject.

Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, Director of the Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia, United Nations ESCAP, provided international insights and perspectives particularly the compendium prepared by the UN ESCAP on the subject containing best practices from Asia and Pacific countries.  Ms. Li Stephanie Choo, Social Affairs Officer, UN ESCAP and Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director CABE Foundation conducted the technical training. The training was based on the ESCAP Quick Guide and Compendium on Designing and Retrofitting Inclusive Public Parks and the Indian standards on accessibility of built public spaces.   

Ms. Mikiko Tanaka from UN ESCAP speaking
Ms. Mikiko Tanaka delivering her address
Following the opening ceremony, participants engaged in a series of interactive sessions, covering topics such as "Who are our users?" and "Technical features of inclusive park design." The first day classroom training followed with a site visit to Shaheedi Park at the ITO, a new park developed by the MCD, allowing participants to apply their knowledge in practical scenarios. 

The participants divided in to six groups conducted access survey of the Shaheedi park. Each group had one wheelchair user and one person simulating vision impairment exploring the park infrastructure and facilities. The groups presented their findings and recommendations to enhance accessibility of Shaheedi Park during the training program. Many participants expressed that if they had such a session before, their parks would have been more inclusive today. 

Participants simulating disabilities at the Shaheedi Park.
Participants at the Shaheedi Park for site visit
Most of them were happy that such a session took place which widened their knowledge spectrum and made them empathise and think inclusive in their work. The program saw participation from Horticulture, Civil Engineering and Education departments of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

Speaking on the side lines of the training program, Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director of the Centre for Accessibility in Built Environment Foundation said, “We wanted to develop empathy in the municipal officials about the needs of persons with disabilities and also equip them with the Universal Accessibility standards so that they are able to incorporate the inclusivity from the design stage itself. The simulation exercise helped them understand and empathize”.

Participants undertaking simulation exercises, walking  with white cane blindfolded
Participants undertaking simulation exercises.
This collaborative initiative reflects a commitment to creating an environment where public spaces are welcoming and accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. By addressing the challenges of inclusivity, the program aimed to contribute to a more equitable society where all citizens can enjoy and benefit from public parks and gardens.

This partnership will see development of Shaheedi Park as a model accessible theme park in Delhi and also to ensure that new parks under conceptualisation or development are fully accessible to the diverse needs of persons with disabilities, seniors, children, women alike. Sensory gardens, inclusive play spaces and inclusive facilities in the parks such as accessible toilets, enhanced accessibility of neighbourhood parks is also on the cards.

Training session in progress at the Sabhagaar
Fig. Training session in progresss in the Sabhagar 

For more information about the training program and its objectives and for media inquiries, please contact: Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director, Centre for Accessibility in Built Environment Foundation, info@cabefoundation.com.

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Monday, October 16, 2023

Supreme Court unveils Report With Recommendations For Better Accessibility For Persons With Disabilities, Senior Citizens And Women

New Delhi, India

In a monumental stride toward inclusivity and accessibility, the Supreme Court Committee on Accessibility, spearheaded by Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, unveiled its Audit Report on the physical and functional accessibility of the Supreme Court for individuals with disabilities. The committee, established by the Chief Justice of India Shri DY Chandrachud on November 28, 2022, presented its comprehensive findings on October 16, 2023, accompanied by a series of recommendations aimed at dismantling barriers hindering access to the Supreme Court.

Justice Bhat, on the occasion of the report's release, commended this pioneering endeavor, emphasizing its unprecedented nature. He extended his gratitude to the committee members and the various sub-committees for their unwavering dedication to this endeavor, which he emphasized had sought to encompass the perspectives of a wide spectrum of individuals. Notably, the audit delved into both the physical and technological dimensions of accessibility.

Chief Justice Chandrachud offered his congratulations to Justice Bhat and the committee for their diligent and comprehensive efforts. He was particularly impressed by the multifaceted approach adopted by the committee, which incorporated a wide array of research techniques to systematically and thoroughly address accessibility concerns. Their study encompassed physical audits, operational assessments, and insights gathered through exhaustive questionnaires. This encompassed an assessment of the physical infrastructure of the Supreme Court, including courtrooms, washrooms, drinking water facilities, bathrooms, canteens, registrar courts, administrative offices, common facilities, and libraries. Notably, the Chief Justice underlined that the study had incorporated independent inputs from numerous stakeholders, with special consideration for the unique challenges faced by women.

Furthermore, Chief Justice Chandrachud emphasized that the committee had rigorously evaluated functional accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Special attention was also given to understanding and resolving the distinct challenges encountered by women in the Court, spanning lawyers, litigants, and staff. Additionally, the report focused on senior citizens, acknowledging the significant presence of senior advocate professionals. A notable aspect was the committee's consideration of specialized court procedures for individuals living with HIV. The report from the committee contains a multitude of noteworthy recommendations, many of which are also legal mandate under the Rights of Persons with Disbilities Act 2016 :-

1. Establishment of route maps and comprehensive signages.

2. Development of disability-friendly pathways.

3. Creation of designated parking areas with diligent monitoring for individuals with disabilities.

4. Augmentation of access to essential facilities like washrooms, water units, canteens, and ATMs.

5. Introduction of convenience features such as battery-operated vehicles, hydraulic lifts in courtrooms and auditoriums, and reserved seating for pregnant women, individuals with disabilities, and senior citizens.

6. Provision of accessible tools, including sign language interpretation and documents catered to visually impaired individuals and stakeholders with disabilities.

7. Implementation of sensitization sessions and the assurance of dedicated service windows, online resources, and human assistance for individuals with disabilities and senior citizens.

8. Establishment of a dedicated accessibility and inclusion department within the Supreme Court's registry.

9. Introduction of specialized facilities such as feeding and changing rooms.

10. Implementation of an equal opportunity policy for the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Chandrachud further noted that the report would serve as a valuable reference for High Courts, aiding them in assessing the physical and functional accessibility within their own premises. Importantly, he also revealed that the findings of the audit report would be made accessible to the public in the near future, underscoring the commitment to transparency and accountability in fostering a more inclusive judicial system.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

One day Awareness Raising Workshop on Duties and Responsibilities of Govt. Establishments under RPWD Act 2016, held at NISD Auditorium

Mr. Vashishth conducting the training

With the goal of promoting greater inclusivity within society, the Office of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, organized a One-day Workshop  on 'Duties and Responsibilities of Govt. Establishments Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016' conducted by Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director at CABE Foundation, as a resource person among others on September 15, 2023.

The workshop was held in the auditorium of the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), Dwarka Sector 10, New Delhi. The objective of this workshop was to provide insights into the obligations and roles delineated in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 for the government establishments.

Fig. Banner of the event.

Government officers from several ministries and departments under the Govt. of India coming from different cities of India participated in the workshop. The workshop was simultaneously interpreted in sign language by a competent interpretor to give n inclusive experience of such sessions. The workshop started off with the first session on disability sensitization with an engaging discussion on the significance of using appropriate language and terminology when addressing individuals with disabilities. It delved into the three prevalent disability models: the charity model, the medical model, and the social model. These models offer distinct perspectives on how society views and interacts with persons with disabilities, highlighting the need for a more empathetic and inclusive approach.

One of the discussions in the workshop was situational and functional disabilities, emphasizing the critical importance of accessibility in diverse settings such as buildings, workplaces, and transportation.

The workshop also emphasized the significance of accommodating accessibility requirements and be aware of subtle ableism at display in our behaviour and attitudes. By doing so, it ensures that people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of life. This practical insight into the diverse needs of users is essential for promoting inclusivity in our communities.

The workshop was a knowledge-sharing platform that aimed to enhance the duty bearers' understanding of the rights and responsibilities outlined in the 2016 Act. It brought together professionals from various backgrounds to foster a more inclusive and accommodating environment for persons with disabilities. By addressing the intricacies of disability models, language usage, and accessibility challenges, the workshop aimed to pave the way for a more equitable and empathetic society.

Group picture of Faculty, the Dy Chief Commissioner for PwDs and Participants

It also stressed that understanding what is accessible and what is not accessible to persons with disabilities is crucial in fostering an inclusive environment. This awareness extends beyond physical spaces to encompass digital accessibility, ensuring that everyone can access information and technology without barriers.

In addition, it also discussed the legal aspects of accessibility, particularly focusing on sections 40, 41, 42, 44 and 45 of the relevant legislation of accessibility. These sections encompass accessibility in the workplace, transportation, access to information and technology, and the retrofitting of existing infrastructure to make it accessible. By addressing these facets, organizations and individuals can actively contribute to breaking down barriers and creating a more inclusive society.

Mr. Naresh from the Institute of Secretariat Training and Management (ISTM) conducted the session on the implementation of 4%  reservation for different categories of persons with disabilities, particularly providing practice guidance on how to prepare the rosters to ensure the correct application of reservation percentages.

The session served as an example of light on the path to inclusiveness. It provides the information and understanding required to build a society in which everyone is treated with equality and respect. We thank the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for organizing this important awareness raising workshop for the stakeholders.