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Disability Innovation Lab

Date: 29 May, 2023

Reading Time: 8 Minutes

29 May, 2023 · Reading Time: 8 Minutes

Disability Innovation Lab

Disability Innovation Lab


The Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme’s Disability Innovation Lab (DIL) in Bangladesh is a remarkable initiative that aligns with the vision of building a Smart Bangladesh by 2041. It leverages technology and innovation to empower people with disabilities and create a more inclusive society.


a2i’s Disability Innovation Lab (DIL) focuses on 5 key areas:

  1. Building digital innovations with persons with disabilities
  2. Conducting audits on national digital platforms
  3. Developing capacity amongst service providers to make their digital platforms accessible
  4. Supporting formulation of appropriate policies, laws and standards 
  5. Continuously working on policy advocacy with policymakers and government officials at all levels from the ministries to field level officials


As part of the broader Smart Bangladesh 2041 vision, a2i’s Disability Innovation Lab (DIL) focuses on addressing the challenges faced by people with disabilities through technological advancements and innovative solutions. By actively engaging with individuals with disabilities, disability rights organizations, and other stakeholders, the lab identifies their needs and develops sustainable solutions that enhance their quality of life. DIL’s work encompasses various key areas, including assistive technology, accessible information, inclusive banking, disability and digital inclusion training, inclusive education, and research related to disabilities.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) Celebration by DIL


Major Projects and Initiatives

a2i’s Disability Innovation Lab (DIL) has undertaken several significant projects and initiatives that directly contribute to the goals of Smart Bangladesh 2041:


Multimedia Talking Books: 


The lab, in collaboration with Young Power for Social Action (YPSA), has introduced the Multimedia Talking Books project, which utilizes modern technology to provide education to visually impaired students and children with disabilities. These audio-visual books cover various subjects and educational levels, enabling thousands of children across the country to access education and improve their overall quality of life.

This initiative aligns with the vision of an educated and technologically empowered society by 2041.

For more details :

Multimedia Talking Book – Making Education Accessible for All

DAISY-Standard Accessible Multimedia Talking Book

Multimedia Talking Book – Making Education Accessible for All


Accessible Dictionary: 


The Accessible Dictionary initiative ensures that knowledge and information are accessible to all, including people with disabilities. Through an online dictionary with interactive features, such as audio recordings, high-contrast text, and large fonts, individuals with visual impairments, dyslexia, and language barriers can easily access information. By promoting inclusive learning and reducing barriers to knowledge, this initiative contributes to the educational transformation envisioned for Smart Bangladesh 2041.

For more details :

Accessible Dictionary – A project funded by a2i’s Service Innovation Fund


Inclusive Banking System:


The Disability Innovation Lab has implemented an inclusive banking system to ensure that financial services are accessible to all citizens, including persons with disabilities residing in rural and remote areas. By conducting accessibility audits and assessments, and developing accessibility widgets, the lab aims to make banking and financial services more inclusive and enable greater access to finance for people with disabilities.

This initiative aligns with the goals of poverty reduction, economic development, and financial inclusion set forth in Smart Bangladesh 2041.

For more details :


  • Web Accessibility Widget: 

The lab has developed a web accessibility widget designed to make websites more accessible to people with disabilities. This widget incorporates features such as text-to-speech, magnification, and color contrast adjustment, enhancing the online experience for individuals with disabilities. 

By fostering an inclusive and accessible internet environment, this initiative supports the digital empowerment objectives of Smart Bangladesh 2041.

For more details :


Inclusive Education: 


Inclusive Education


Recognizing the importance of providing quality education to all individuals, a2i executed the establishment of an inclusive university at Chittagong University. This project ensures equal access to higher education for students with visual disabilities through the development of accessible resources, user-friendly study materials, and digital technology training. 

By promoting inclusive education and ensuring that no student is left behind, this initiative aligns with the education-focused goals of Smart Bangladesh 2041.

For more details :


Disability and Digital Inclusion Training:


Disability and Digital Inclusion Training


DDT training, as a unique approach to achieving digital inclusion, innovation, and accessibility, plays a vital role in realizing the vision of Smart Bangladesh 2041. By providing in-depth knowledge of disability rights and promoting the active participation of people with disabilities, DDT empowers individuals to become active contributors in building an inclusive society. 

Guided by the principle of ‘nothing about us without us,’ this training module is a stepping stone toward ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, aligning with the goals of Smart Bangladesh 2041.

For more details :


Employability and Role Mapping for Persons with Disabilities:


Enabling the employability of individuals with disabilities is a crucial aspect of realizing the inclusive vision of Smart Bangladesh 2041. a2i’s Disability Innovation Lab (DIL) recognizes the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in gaining employment due to physical, mental, and societal barriers. To address this, the DIL has developed a capacity building module that incorporates role mapping, identifying individuals’ strengths, skills, and interests to match them with suitable job opportunities. 

By focusing on individual abilities and interests, this initiative promotes inclusive employment practices, reduces stigmatization, and builds a diverse and inclusive workforce, contributing to the economic growth and social fabric of Smart Bangladesh 2041.




a2i’s Disability Innovation Lab (DIL) is led by Vashkar Bhattacharjee and a small but dedicated team. The Lab’s innovative approaches to inclusive education, digital accessibility, and empowerment of persons with disabilities have garnered international recognition. Awards such as the zero-project award from the United Nations, the Manthan award from the digital empowerment foundation of India, and the Unesco/Emir Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah Prize for digital empowerment highlight the a2i’s commitment to promoting inclusion, accessibility, and digital empowerment. 

These achievements serve as inspiration and reinforce the significance of creating an inclusive and accessible society as part of Smart Bangladesh 2041.

For more details :




a2i’s Disability Innovation Lab (DIL) exemplifies the transformative power of technology and innovation in creating an inclusive and accessible society envisioned in Smart Bangladesh 2041. 

Through its groundbreaking work, the lab has already positively impacted the lives of thousands of people with disabilities in Bangladesh. With an unwavering commitment to inclusion, accessibility, and continuous progress, DIL is poised to further drive positive change and contribute significantly to the realization of Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041.

Policy & Guidelines :

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Digital Service and Web Designing Guideline for Inclusive Accessibility 2022

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