Hackcessible Challenges 2019

Hackcessible 2019 (like Hackcessible 2018) also has eight teams working on eight different solutions but within four thematic accessibility challenge areas (sight loss, physical disability, communication impairment and age related cognitive difficulties) brought to us by four individuals from different walks of life.

Simon Wheatcroft profile photo


Simon’s challenge for cohort 2019 is to create puzzles and games for people with blindness. This is to improve bonding, keep the mind active and learn within the visually impaired community. The current solutions out there are inadequate and this challenges opens up the doors to lots of possibilities!


“My biggest nemesis is the British weather! Using a wheelchair in the rain is a pain and umbrellas don’t work for me. Solutions for prams and scooters don’t work for me either. I need something that I can independently use.”


“I have very little control of the muscles in my body. The only things I have full control are up and down eye movement and my upper eye lids. Together, I use looking up to communicate YES and looking down to communicate NO. However, no computer picks these up. Instead, I have a very limited movement of one muscle in my thumb and a device that picks up these tiny movements and produces on and off as a switch. iOS includes a feature called switch control which allows a switch to fully control any iOS device such as an iPad. But this is very unreliable because it uses my thumb that I can barely control and tires me quickly. Ideally, I would like a way to use my eyes to control my iPad because they are very reliable. I’ve thought of two days to do this. The most elegant would use the internal camera and detect my eye gestures and produce an off or on output so I can use it with a Tapio device plugged into my iPad. Perhaps there are better ideas but I imagine any solution will use switch control. I always have my iPad positioned so I can use Face ID. My iPad is an iPad Pro with iOS 13.”

Dr Ameer

Dr Ameer is a retired NHS surgeon who recently turned 85. He has been experiencing some progressive age related memory challenges in recent years that are affecting his day to day life. He is super independent and would like to continue to be so but feels he needs the help of technology to enable him cope with certain tasks that he performs on a day to day basis. For example:

“I am a practising Muslim and I pray 5 times a day. But I keep losing track of where I am in a prayer sequence. I am looking for a solution to help me at different prayer times (each with a different sequence of prayer movements).”

For more information about any of the challengers or challenges, email info@hackcessible.org