CBSE Guidelines for Children with Special Needs (CWSN) provisions for Schools
Guidelines for Children with Special Needs (CwSN) provisions for existing Schools and
Schools seeking affiliation with the Board
It is being re-iterated that the Board has incorporated in Affiliation Bye-Laws 2018.
Under Rule No. 4.7.3 that “the school shall provide proper facilities like, ramps in toilets and at entry/exit points for
wheelchair users and auditory signals in elevators / lifts and other possible infrastructural facilities in accordance with the provisions laid down in RPWD Act- 2016.” and under Rule 14.5.2.
“School shall promote inclusion of student with special needs in the normal school as per provisions of the Rehabilitation of Persons With Disabilities Act 2016 and in conformity with the National; Policy of
Inclusive Education is also an important component under Samagra Shiksha Scheme which lays emphasis on improving quality of education for all students, including Children with Special Needs
(CwSN). The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 reiterates the need for barrier-free access to children with special needs for providing equitable educational opportunities.
However it has been noticed that the schools are not adhering with the provisions of Affiliation Bye-Laws of the Board in regard of the infrastructural facilities like ramps/lift, CwSN facilities in toilets etc.
Some schools have built the ramp only at entry/exit points or ground floor while there are many educational activities like laboratories, library and other co-curricular activities conducted on different floors of school building. Due to non-availability of ramp / lift facility on all floors of school building, these activities are not accessible to the students with special needs.
It is therefore imperative that provisions for all children to attend schools are created and efforts are made to identify and remove barriers. It is equally important to safeguard the rights of children with special needs if the goal of ‘Education for All’ is to be achieved. The Board has emphasized the promotion of Inclusive Education in schools.
Inclusive education setup refers to equitable and non- discriminatory arrangement where each child is valued, accepted and respected.
Hence, all CBSE affiliated schools and the schools seeking affiliation with the Board are advised to comply with the Children with Special Needs (CwSN) guidelines as per Annexure A.
CBSE Circular for CWSN
A proper lift / ramp should be constructed to access all the floors of school building.
Separate CwSN toilets for girls and boys should be maintained at every floor of
Approach to the school should be well maintained and leveled surface should be
Paved flooring provides comfortable access to all students and teachers and benefit children and adults with disabilities.
The surfaces should be firm and even, with a finish which is slip resistant in all
weather conditions. Any kerbs(raised path) in the route should have appropriate drop kerbs to allow access to a wheelchair.
The path from the gate to the school buildings, playground and toilet must be clear, firm, leveled and regularly maintained. Main entrances and doorways in the school buildings should be 1500-1800mm wide.
Classrooms, toilets, labs etc should have clear door width of 900mm minimum.
Sharp turns in the walkways should be avoided. The walkway must be clear of any hung and protruding obstructions such as
windows, lights, low branches, flowerpots and signposts etc.
A handrail should be provided at any dangerous point in the walkway.
Guard rails are a must in situations where there is a sudden change in the level
including stairs and verandah.
The ends of the handrails should be rounded off/ grouted in the ground (bent
downwards) to avoid injury.
The height and width of steps should be equal (riser and tread).
Bright & contrast colour tactile pavers (preferably yellow) should be used at every change in slope, at the beginning and ending of a staircase for easy recognition and at turnings.
All floor surfaces should be non-slip/ anti-skid/ matt finish and any loose gravel or
cobblestones should be avoided.
SIGNAGE – WAY FINDING VISUAL AND AUDITORY
External: should be mounted above 2200mm from the finished floor level for proper head clearance.
Internal: should be placed between 1400mm to 1600mm from the finished floor level on the wall International.
Symbol of Accessibility: to be displayed for all the accessible services and
CBSE CWSN Circular 2023
A proper ramp/lift should be constructed to access all the floors of school building.
o Indoor- Gentle slope of 1:15 max.
o Outdoor- For first floor and above 1:15 or 1:20 gradient ramp is advised
depending upon availability of space
o 1500mm minimum; 1800mm is preferred
o To be provided for every 750mm of vertical rise.
o Clear space or size of 1500mm x 1500mm minimum.
o At the beginning and the end of the ramp and at turnings
o At intervals of every 9 meters for a gradient of 1:15 or 1:20
o To be on both sides at two heights- 760mm-900mm, painted in contrast color
against the background wall; both ends to be rounded and grouted and extend
300mm beyond top and bottom of ramp.
o Surfaces (ramp & landing) should be slip resistant. Grooves on cement ramp
not exceeding 5mm or checkered tiles can be provided.
o Warning tactile paver should be placed at 300mm before and after the ramp
o Ramp in the schools should not be obstructed by vehicles and ramp entry
should not be kept locked. These incidences are common when step entry is
made as common entry.
o Ramp entry should be used as main entry which benefits everyone – disabled,
old and those with reduced mobility.
o Gradient of the ramp should be maximum 1:12, i.e., for every rise of 1 unit
height, length of the ramp should be 12 units maximum. A gentle ramp of 1:15
gradient is preferred as it is easier to maneuver wheelchair on gentle slope.
o Grooves on ramps should not have height of more than 10mm.CC/ matt finish/
anti-skid tiles such as checkered tiles used on footpaths are good to use for ramp flooring.
o Ramp edges should be flushed with the flooring and the pathway leading to
the ramps should be firm and leveled.
o Ramps should be provided on one side of the steps and not in center. L-shape
ramps are preferred if the plinth height is more.
● A proper lift/ramp should be constructed to access all the floors of school building.
● Color: lift door and penal should be in bright color contrast, instead of glazed steel or
any other metallic shade that produces glare.
● Car space: Internal floor space 1500mm x 1500mm minimum.
● Doors: 900mm wide and closing mechanism to be adjusted to give adequate entry
time. Alternatively, sensors should be installed.
● Call button: at a reach of 800mm-1000mm; at least 450mm from any corner or wall to
reach the call button.
● Control penal: inside the lift preferably on both the sides, having buttons with Braille
and also raised letters and in bright contrast from the background.
● Audio announcement: for door opening/closing and floor levels.
● Key plan: of all floors to be placed inside the lift.
● Vision panels: should be provided on the lift door at two levels-800mm &1500mm.
● Level difference: gap in level between the lift door and the floor surface should not be
more than 10mm.
● Floor directory: of the main facilities and services available on the lift landing, along
with an accessible emergency egress route that clearly indicates the location of
nearest refuge areas for children with disabilities.
● The use of visually and acoustically reflective wall surfaces should be minimized
within the lift car as visual reflections can cause discomfort and affect the visual
acuity of children with visual impairments.
● The floor of the lift car should be slip resistant and have similar frictional qualities to
the floor of the lift landing to decrease the risk of stumbling.
● The provision of a mirror on the wall of the lift car opposite the lift door is a positive
aid to navigation for wheelchair users.
● It allows the wheelchair user to see if anyone is behind them and also to see the floor
● The mirror should not extend below 900mm from the lift floor to avoid confusing
children with visual impairments.
● Be color contrasted with the surrounding wall and should not be heavier than 20N to
- Separate CwSN toilets for girls and boys should be maintained at every floor of
- All signage of general toilets should be in bold and contrasting colors.
- For children with visual impairments, pictogram (male pictogram in triangle and
female pictogram in circle) marked on plates along with Braille & raised alphabets to
be mounted on wall next to door near the latch side, at a height between 1400mm-
- Warning strip/ thin rubber door mat to be provided 300mm before the toilet entrances
- Availability of sanitary material and disposal mechanism such as incinerators should
be provided for the girls. Running water in the girl’s toilets is essential for
Menstruation, Hygiene and Management (MHM). Overhead water storage tanks
should be provided to get piped water facility
- All toilet facilities should incorporate fire alarms with audio and visual systems
- Alarms must be located so that assistance can be summoned, both when on the
toilet pan i.e., at 900mm height and lying on the floor i.e., at 300mm, from floor
- Toilet seat/WC or the background tiles shall be in contrast color for the benefit of
children with low vision and to create visual contrast
- Water and soap for washing hands not only helps in learning safe hygiene
management but also helps in attitude change of washing hands, especially in
villages, where most people defecate in open and do not wash hands.
- For adolescent girls, running water is essential for their menstruation hygiene
- Accessible, usable and functional toilet facilities should be provided for all children.
For children with disabilities, it is essential that toilets should have illumination, doors
and roof for safety and privacy; otherwise, they are bound to remain out of school.
- Accessible toilets (also termed as CwD’s toilets) should be located next to or within
30m of the main entrance/ exit of the school building
- A minimum of one toilet compartment should have enough floor space for wheelchair
users to enter and exit; clear floor space should be 2000mm x 2200mm minimum
- Provide a door of clear opening of at least 900mm with the door swing outwards or
be folding or sliding type
- Should have slip resistant flooring
- A switch near the WC (one at 300mm and the other at 900mm from the floor level),
which activates an emergency audio alarm at the attendant desk, staff room, etc.
should be provided
- Flooring to be anti-slip/matt finish
- Doors should have a horizontal pull-bar, at least 600mm long, on the inside of the
door, located so that it is 130mm from the hinged side of the door and at a height of
- Handrails all through the toilet cubicle walls should be provided for support and
Warning tactile paver should be placed before washbasin for children with visual
impairment to identify the location of the wash basin.
They should be of dimensions 550mm and 410mm, so mounted that the top edge is
between 700mm-800mm from the floor; and have knee clearance of at least 760mm
wide by 200mm deep by 650mm-680mm high.
Lever type handles for taps are recommended.
Mirror’s bottom edge to be 1m from the floor and the mirror may be inclined at 250 angle to get proper image of a children in seated height.
U-shape moveable grab bars are proposed on both sides of the washbasin.
INDIAN SQUATTING SEAT
For children with locomotor disabilities who are not using wheelchairs, Indian
squatting seat should be provided with grab bars and clear floor space of 1200mm x 1500mm minimum. Door should have two-way open hinges;
Signage for Male and Female toilet in Braille and pictogram should be provided;
Clear floor space 1200mm x 1500mm;
Vertical grab bar should be provided, which helps in assisting a child with reduced mobility to lower into squatting position and then rise into standing again;
Horizontal grab bar should be provided which helps in balancing and stabilizing,
when reaching for water/cleaning self;
Health faucet/ handheld spray should be provided at height between 300-400mm;
Door handle, lock and storage for crawlers, children and standing users at two
levels/heights 300mm and 800mm; and
Clothes hanging hook for seated and standing users at 800mm and 1000mm.
Following is the link of a sample video of the CWSN facilities.