Hackcessible returned with a splash on Saturday Oct 26th of October with the Hackcessible Challenge. Hackcessible is led by Aejaz Zahid, Director of Innovation at South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (and honorary research fellow at CATCH).
At the event four thematic challenges relating to Blindness/Visual Impairment, Physical Disability, Communication Impairment and Age Related Cognitive Difficulties were presented by four individuals directly affected by these challenges. From almost fifty participants, which includes the challengers, students from engineering (every discipline), computer science, product design and occupational therapy, eight project teams were formed.
Two teams per challenge will work over the next five weeks to compete against each other while collaborating and co-creating with their respective challenger. The main Hackcessible Make-a-thon will take place on Nov 30th and Dec 1st weekend at the iForge makerspace, but in the interim five weeks, the teams and challengers have several opportunities to really get to know each other and understand the problem they are aiming to solve. This is further facilitated through a series of five evening workshops run each week on topics such as “Building an Innovation Focused Team”, “Design Thinking for Assistive Technology”, “Creating and Building an Open Source Project”, “CAD for 3D Printing” and “Electronics Prototyping for all using Arduino”.
Hackcessible 2018 resulted in six unique assistive technology products including three open source projects, and three solutions that are further being developed into research or commercial projects (including one start-up HASP Orthotics). We are excited to see what solutions the Hackcessible 2019 teams come up with for these new challenges! Prizes for the best solutions will be presented on December 3rd.
This is also the first time that students and faculty from both universities in this city of makers are bringing their respective strengths to a collaborative hackathon for social good.