Brief Bios

Brief Bios - Subhash Chandra Vashishth

IAAP Level III Expert Badge in Accessibility of Built Environment
Subhash is a Lawyer and a Specialist in Accessibility, Universal Design & Diversity Inclusion. He is a Certified Professional in Accessible Built Environments Level III Expert (CPABE Level III), the first in India to achieve this credential.

As an advocate, Subhash litigates in the High Court of Delhi and Supreme Court of India. He is the proprietor of Vashishth  and Associates - a new Delhi based legal firm that specializes in matters related to Human Rights, Disability Rights, Public Interest Litigation, Civil Suits, Family Law, Service Law, Company Law, Consumer Law, etc. 

Subhash is an Expert Member for Accessibility on Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)  Sectional Committee on National Building Code (NBC) (CED12) and has contributed substantially to the accessibility provisions incorporated in NBC 2016. 

He was also on the Core Committee of Ministry of Urban Development, Govt of India for ‘Harmonised Guidelines and Space Standards on Barrier free Environment for Elderly and Disabled Persons’ which were first notified under Sec. 15 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2017 as the Guideline for designing accessible Built Environment in India.  He is an Expert on POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harrassment of Women at workplace) and has been on Internal Committees of several organisations and has led investigations as a legal consult on the Internal Committees of Govt. departments and  Public Sector Undertakings as well. 

He is also a Member and Communications Coordinator of the 
Standing Committee on Accessible Transportation and Mobility (AME50) of Transportation Research Board of National Academies, USA.  He is a member of several Bureau of Indian Standards Sectional Committees such as Smart Cities (CED 59), Active Assisted Living (LITD 35) etc.  He was also an invited expert on the Committee of Experts constituted by University Grants Commission, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India for preparing Comprehensive Guidelines on Accessibility, Pedagogy and Curricula for Students with Disabilities in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).

He has been nominated by Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of Delhi as a non official Member on  the Advisory Committee of Experts constituted under sub-section (7) of section 79 the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016  to assist the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, NCT of Delhi with effect from 02nd June 2022 for a tenure of three years.

Subhash is also a Subject Matter Expert Member on the IAAP’s CPABE Taskforce, and has contributed to streamline the certification process of the “Certified Professional in Accessible Built Environments” (CPABE), develop a dedicated Body of Knowledge to guide applicants in preparing for their exam, and scale the program for greater global impact.  He is an expert for Accessibility in Built Environment in Global Inclusive Education Network.

Subhash is Co-Founder of Centre for Accessibility in Built Environment Foundation. He is Joint Secretary of National Association of Blind (Delhi) and has been the founder member of the Advocacy & Employment Committee of the All India Confederation of the Blind. He is also the Country Representative, India for the G3ict / Smart Cities for All, an initiative that collaborates with cities, governments, civil society & private sector in making global cities more inclusive in the context of the  UN SDGs #11, the UN Habitat III New Urban Agenda and the UN CRPD.

He conducts capacity building sessions for a variety of stakeholders and has conducted numerous workshops, training on disability equality, gender inclusion, accessibility audits; Universal Design, inclusive services, disability law and policy, RTI, child rights, women rights, public interest litigation etc. for lawyers, social workers, gender activists, design professionals, civil engineers, architects, educationists, service providers in transportation, hospitality, aviation, rehabilitation etc. 

He is also a blogger with interest in disability rights and inclusion, inclusive education, equal opportunity employment, accesssible mobility, transportation, sustainability, accessible sanitation, walkability, smart cities, smart villages & liveable habitats.

Subhash was proud to serve in the Indian Air Force and is a veteran. Besides a professional degree in Law, Subhash has Master degrees in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management, Economics, Social Work and a PG Diploma in Developmental Therapy (Cerebral Palsy & Other Neurologically Disabling Conditions). He also qualified University Grants Commission (National Eligibility Testing) [UGC  (NET)] for Lectureship in Labour Welfare & Personnel Management. He has also completed a GIAN course on "Universal Design and Accessibility Planning : an interdisciplinary approach to Inclusive Environments" from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India.

Honour and Awards

1. Received the prestigious "Divyangjan Swabhiman Samman - 2023" award on 02nd October 2023 at the hands of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India, on behalf of CABE Foundation for our steadfast commitment to promoting universal design and creating accessible environments for persons with disabilities and for our contribution to promote equal society through better implementation of disability legislation and policies, for a wide range of stakeholders. This distinguished award was bestowed by the esteemed Servants of the People Society Delhi, a legacy founded by the revered late Shri Lala Lajpat Rai and the Anam Sneh Parivar Prayagraj.

2. Conferred with NCPEDP-Mphasis Javed Abidi Public Policy Award 2021 for Accessibility and Universal Design (Sep 2021). This Award is a special tribute to honour those individuals who have been doing exemplary work in the field of promoting Accessibility and Universal Design and thus ensuring a life of equality and dignity for people with disabilities. As of now, the Awards are limited to work in India. More details on Awards website.

3. Received the National Tourism Award of Excellence 2009 from Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, for making World Heritage Site -Qutub Minar accessible to persons with disabilities & senior citizens.  The award was jointly conferred on Svayam and Archeological Survey of India and received by Mr. Vashishth, representing Svayam & Dr. K.K. Mohammed, the then Superintending Archaeologist (Delhi Circle) of Archaeological Survey of India.

Blogs and Online Writings

You are encouraged to visit his blogs and writings as below:

Contribution to Standards, Guidelines, Manuals, Position Papers

1.    Co-authored 
Accessibility Guidelines and Standards for Higher Education Institutions and Universities. - published by University Grants Commission, Ministry of Education, Government of India (June 2022) [PDF 10MB

2.    Authored Disability Inclusion Toolkit - Catalyzing Inclusion in the BFSI Sector, India : (Under Project SAMEIP - SBI Foundation And Microsoft India Employability Initiative for PwDs, implemented by American India Foundation) (2022) [PDF 44 MB]

3.    Co-authored Overseas Road Note 21 (ORN 21) : Enhancing the mobility of people with disabilities,  funded by UKAID through the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office under
the High Volume Transport Applied Research Programme, managed by DT Global and produced by Integrated Transport Planning Ltd. .
  • Part 1: Guidelines for Policymakers March 2022 [PDF 2MB] - It provides guidance to persons involved in the development of policy in relation to disability in transport in low- and middle-income countries. It begins by introducing the concept of disability, its prevalence, categorisations and social frameworks, before moving on to discuss policy responses related to disability and inclusion, barriers to participation and the role of advocacy. These elements are designed to promote awareness of disability and to foster improved understanding. The guide then transitions to discuss the policy development process, legislation, co-operation and consultation and funding. It concludes with practical strategies for planning and implementing accessible infrastructure and services and outlines the role of access audits. These elements support the design and delivery of practical outcomes, viewed and approached through the policy lens.
  • Part 2: Guidelines for Practitioners February 2022 [PDF 7MB] - It provides guidance to practitioners involved in the design and implementation of transport schemes, systems and provisions in low- and middle-income countries. It begins by introducing the concept of Universal Design which is followed by a discussion on mobility aids and the importance of achieving personal mobility with maximum independence. The remainder of the guide provides detailed best practice guidance and design standards pertinent to the design of 1) accessible vehicles 2) accessible infrastructure, and 3) accessible transport services and information. It includes entirely new sections on waterborne transport and school transport services.
4.  Authored Guidelines for Making Religious Places Accessible. (Issued by the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt of India (2019) [External Weblink] [PDF 4MB]

5.  Authored the Accessibility Provisions for National Building Code of India 2016 published by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). (2015-17) 
[External Weblink] [PDF 252MB]

6.  Co-authored  Harmonised Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Persons with Disabilities and Elderly Persons (2016) which stood notified as the Standard to be followed for accessibility of public buildings under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.[External Weblink] [PDF 4MB]  

7.  Conducted a research study on Urban Infrastructure in different municipal areas of Delhi belonging to Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Cantonment Board and New Delhi Municipal Council and authored  Handbook on Barrier Free Urban Infrastructure published by Svayam. [PDF 23 MB

8.  Drew up a National Position Paper on Laws affecting the rights of persons with Locomotor Disabilities, suggesting amendments needed in the various Indian laws and the disability legislation for harmonizing them with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities that was published as Harmonising Indian laws with UNCRPD by HRLN, India [PDF 1MB]

9.  Drafted the DGCA Civil Aviation Requirement for Carriage by Air of Persons with Disabilities and persons with reduced mobility, 2007-08 [External Weblink]

Participation in Conferences
  • TERI WSDS 2019 (29-31 Jan 2020)  
  • IIT Delhi EMPOWER2019 (14 Oct 2019)  
  • World Road Congress, Abu Dhabi, 08 Oct 2019: Foresight Session on "Disability-Inclusive Road Transport”   Session recording on Youtube (from 1.30hrs onwards)  
  • National Building Code Wksp, Vigyan Bhavan Feb 2018 
  • Speaker at the International Conference on Business, Economics and Sustainable Development, organized on 22 February 2018 by TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, India.  
  • Presented at 2018 TRB Annual Meeting (07-11 Jan 2018) at Washington DC, USA.
  • Organised a National level Consultation Meeting of stakeholders (22 Nov 2017) in New Delhi, India on behalf of Svayam, to discuss issues concerning safe and dignified air travel for persons with disabilities.
  • Presented at 18th World Road Meeting, held in Greater Noida, India, during 14-17 November 2017.
  • Participated in 2017 'Cooperation Forum on Accessibility and Prosperity in Cities’ in Taipei as part of International Steering Committee, TRANSED2018, 06 Nov-11 Nov 2017.  
  • Presented at International Transport Forum, Leipzig (ITF 2015) Leipzig, Germany, Malaysia (May 2015) 
  • Presented at International Conference on Accessible Tourism, (ICAT 2014) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 03 Dec 2014.
  • Presented at the 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transportation for the Elderly and the Disabled (TRANSED 2012) at New Delhi, India during 17-21 Sep 2012 hosted by Svayam.
  • Speaker at "National Conclave on Universal Design and Accessibility, Smart Cities and Digital India" on August 27, 2016  organised by Indian Institute of Management (IIMA), Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.  

Lectures/ Accessibility Training Programs on Accessible India Campaign:

1.  Trainings conducted at National CPWD Academy - Has conducted series of Lectures and condenses training programs for CPWD Officers (architects and engineers) and for freshly recruited Officers undergoing Foundation Trainings since April 2016 as below:  
a)  3-day training during 07 April 2016 to 09 April 2016 at National CPWD Academy - leading to certification.
b)  3-day training during 11 April 2016 to 13 April 2016 at National CPWD Academy- leading to certification.
c)   3- day Accessibility Training Program during 24-26 April 2017, as a part of the "Foundation Training Program for Dy. Architects -2016 Batch and Special Training Program for Assistant Architects".
d)   Half-day online Refresher Training Program for in-service Officers (architects & engineers) titled "Retrofitting in existing buildings as per Barrier Free Design Norms and Accessibility Audit" on 29 Jul 2021
2.    Trainings conducted at National Institute of Training for Standardization (NITS), Bureau of Indian        Standards on Capsule Course: National Builidng Code 2016 - Accessibility in Buildings and Built           Environment, leading to certification.

Other Lectures/ Training Programs on Disability Inclusion, Accessibility and Universal Design

1)  Series of Awareness programs for the Indira Gandhi International Airport Community (2017-18) on Accessibility of Services and Facilitation of Passengers with Reduced Mobility at the Delhi Airport, as a part of MoU between Svayam and DIAL (Delhi International Airport Ltd.) 
2)  Lecture on National Building Code for Officers of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) (YouTube), 19 Jul 2018
3)  Conducted a 5-day ‘Basic Access Auditor’ training course during 24-28 June 2019 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Nairobi, Kenya, organised by Svayam, in collaboration with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Govt. of Kenya. 
4)  Conducted a pre-conference Workshop at IIT Delhi EMPOWER2019 (14 Oct 2019) Conference.
5)  Conducted a 3-day training Basic Access Auditor course titled “Accessibility in Built Environment” during 19-21 November 2019 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Nairobi, Kenya, organised by Svayam, in collaboration with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Govt. of Kenya. 
6)  Winter School on 'Accessibility Planning and Universal Design - an Inclusive Approach for a Better Tomorrow' at CEPT University from 03 Dec 2019 to 08 Dec 2019. 
7)  Lectures for Students of SPA, Delhi pursuing an Elective Course on Universal Accessibility (Apr 2020) as a part of Svayam’s MoU with School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi.