Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Dipendra Manocha was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
By raising expectations, retraining, and adapting cutting edge communications technology to work for disabled people, Dipendra makes it possible for them to participate in public life. By devising and sourcing tools that remove the communication barriers that come with visual and hearing impairments he demonstrates how one’s disability is irrelevant to his/her identity as a citizen, and creates an environment where disabled people are expected to contribute and be competitive in society.
The goal of Dipendra’s work is to improve both disabled people’s self-image as well society’s perception of them. He taps into the power of technology to liberate people who have been trapped by a limited access to communication tools. His approach has shown how his ideas work and allows him to demonstrate change—creating incentives for individuals and society.
Dipendra’s ideas and tools are replicable and have the potential to spread throughout India and beyond. Through his example, all of India’s national academies for the blind have now adopted new communications technology as part of their curricula. He is helping universities set up training centers, which are backed by government investment. Disabled people who have received training are finding jobs and through their successes, are convincing businesses that they are desirable employees. Dipendra is part of several groups that are developing communications technology for the disabled to be shared internationally, including under the auspices of the United Nations and large technology companies.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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