National Level Competition for Engineering Students On Developing Innovative Concept Notes On Universal Accessible Design in Built Environment, Accessible Technologies.
What do we mean by accessibility?
1) The quality of being able to be reached or entered.
2) The quality of being easy to obtain or use.
- The quality of being easily understood or appreciated.
Accessibility can be viewed as the “ability to access” and benefit from some system or entity. The concept focuses on enabling access for people with disabilities, or special needs, or enabling access through the use of assistive technology; however, research and development in accessibility brings benefits to everyone.
Accessibility is not to be confused with usability, which is the extent to which a product (such as a device, service, or environment) can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.
Accessibility is strongly related to universal design which is a process of creating products that are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations. This is about making things accessible to all people (whether they have a disability or not).
The CHAPTER 8 of Rights of persons with disabilities ACT that was passed in the winter session of Indian parliament in 2016 has introduced a mandatory clause on accessibility. RPD ACT 2016 states that it is the duty and responsibility of the appropriate governments to ensure the following:
- Access to transport.
2. Access to information and communication technology.
3. Mandatory observance of accessibility norms.
- Time limit for making existing infrastructure and premises accessible and action for that purpose.
5. Time limit for accessibility by service providers.
Research needs in developing universal design
“National Accessible India Campaign” initiated by the Hon’ble prime minister Sri Narendra Modiji highlights the need for innovative ideas to develop designs and technologies relevant to India under “Start Up India’ Abhiyan.We are all aware accessibility is the key to inclusion and equal access for people with disabilities. An accessible barrier-free environment is the first step towards fulfilling the right of people with disabilities to participate in all areas of community life. Our engineers have an important role to play in developing innovative designs relevant to Indian context as well for applications in other countries.
The focus areas chosen by the Accessible Indian campaign is to create an enabling and barrier free environment, with a focus on three verticals:
- Built Environment;
- Public Transportation and Information
- Communication Technologies.
The Concepts from students shall be based on the three verticals. In addition we wish to add:
“Digital accessibility –Universal design”
- Accessible working environments in rural and urban areas.
National level concept note competition on accessible design
The idea of organizing national level competition of concept notes on ideas building and sharing stems from the need to find locally appropriate solutions to develop our country barrier free and accessible to every person. These concept notes helps further to develop into research and start up India initiatives.
Student can upload the concept notes (following the guidelines) on the website exclusively designed for this purpose. There is no entry fee to join the competition. Students will be provided resource materials/videos, PPTs on universal accessible designs to help them to develop high quality concept notes. A panel of judges will evaluate the concept notes and give ranking score to all concept notes based on the following criterion:
- Innovation and originality
- Relevance to Indian context
III .Cost effectiveness and opportunity to scale up
- Quality of technical knowledge
Key features of the online competition:
- This annual competition shall be held by CBR NETWORK collaboration with Svayam who has agreed to also extend financial support to implement this programme in addition to the active partnership.
- A dedicated website is created to access resource materials on universal design and accessibility, to submit concept notes, expert panel to access concept notes to evaluate on give ranking, announcement of awards.
- A team of eminent jury members shall give a ranking to all concept notes from 6 engineering disciplines (Civil-Mechanical Electrical –Electronics-Computer Science- Architecture-IT) & eminent NGOs.
4. The other disciplines of engineering, education, and health, rural development etc shall be included in the future competitions.
- All participants shall be given ranking and certificate.
- The prizes are given in an award function in Delhi to be organized by Svayam in cooperation with CBR NETWORK. The top concept notes from each engineering disciple chosen by the panel of experts shall be given awards in a function in Delhi in the 3rd week of April 2017.All students who participate shall be a given a certificate of participation with their respective ranking. All concept notes shall be uploaded on the website. The top awardees from different engineering discipline from different zones shall be invited to come to Delhi to receive the award from the dignitaries .The award shall consist of a citation and memento. The innovative concept notes shall be published by Svayam Foundation.