Vashkar Bhattacharjee, Program Manager at YPSA and Head of the YPSA-ICT & Resource Center on Disabilities (IRCD), has been selected as a 2021 D-30 Disability Impact List honoree, on the celebration of the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). He is the 1st Bangladeshi to achieve this honoree.
The D-30 Disability Impact List honors the unique accomplishments of the most impactful community members globally through a nomination and selection process. This year, after receiving almost 300 nominations for more than 125 incredible leaders with disabilities globally, the selection committee finalized the 2nd D-30 Disability Impact List considering the nominees work on advancing disability inclusion, leadership, and representation at all levels.
Having lived with a disability since birth, Vashkar Bhattacharjee cares passionately about the issues and challenges around disability and, in particular, about the issues of accessibility and inclusion. He has dedicated his life towards the advancement of the disability community, and currently serving as Disability Focal & Program Manager of YPSA (Young Power in Social Action), an organization for sustainable development in Bangladesh. For the last 15 years, he has been working for Persons with Disabilities by policy formulation, advocacy, innovating assistive and accessible technologies.
Vashkar pioneered the transformation of the University of Chittagong as the first inclusive university in the country as well as introduced DAISY in Bangladesh and converted 200,000+ pages of reading materials in accessible formats apart from training 500+ Persons with Disabilities on ICT skills and assistive technologies. He also supports the Bangladesh government, as the National Consultant for Accessibility at the a2i program of ICT division, in different initiatives to make information and services accessible for Persons with Disabilities especially during the COVID-19 pandemic such as National Helpline 333 and myGov, etc.
Speaking on his accomplishments in the 2021 D-30 Disability Impact List, Vashkar Bhattacharjee stated that, “I would like to add more about my Daisy Project which started in 2005 from YPSA. My team has converted more than 200 thousand pages of reading and informational materials into Daisy format, and I want to continue to do so in the coming days”. The conversion of all the textbooks of Class 1-12 and the creation of Bangladesh’s 1st Accessible Dictionary was recognized by the UNESCO and he has been awarded by the UNESCO in 2018 for his work for the digital empowerment of persons with disabilities, as a 1st Bangladeshi.”
In addition to the UNESCO award, Vashkar has received number of other international and national recognitions for his contribution, such as Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Award 2016, Henry Viscardi Award 2017, and International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing from London Book Fair 2015 and so on.
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