What is Hackcessible?

Hackcessible is a Make-a-thon aimed at developing creative solutions to solve problems due to challenges experienced by individuals with disabilities.

Over a five week period and especially during the makethon weekend, makers at Hackcessible will have a unique opportunity to learn from each other, build awesome projects together, and share them with other makers. This will allow a multi-disciplinary mesh of people working on developing solutions to accessibilitity issues across a diverse range of challenges..

A make-a-what?

A hackathon is commonly described as a programming marathon. It is a 24 or 48 hour event during a weekend where small teams (usually 2-4 people) come together to share ideas, learn new things, and build cool things with others.

A make-a-thon is a hackathon that brings an element of building something physical e.g. an electronic or mechanical system, which may or may not also involve programming.

At Hackcessible, we anticipate a diverse range of challenges, which will necessitate an equally diverse range of types of solutions.

Who is allowed to participate?

The make-athon is open to undergrads, grad students, and affiliates from any University. If your University hasn’t yet formed a team, get in touch with us via the ‘Register Interest’ button and we’ll try to link you up.

How much does it cost?

We’re happy to let you know that Hackcesssible is completely free to attend! We’re providing a venue, food, drinks, snacks, WiFi, and hackathon swag! You just need to bring yourself and your enthusiasm.

I know nothing about disability or assistive technology, can I still participate?

Don’t worry! Learning is a huge part of hackathons and you can bet that you’ll learn something new by the end of Hackcessible.

We’re going to have workshops on various topics and we’ll also have mentors available throughout the weekend to help teams out! So, don’t be afraid! Come with an open mind and heart, learn a lot, build something cool, and have a ton of fun!

Is this only for software engineers? Do I need to have previous project experience?

Assistive Technology projects are interdisciplinary! We’re looking for engineers from all specialisms, computer scientists, designers and anyone with an enthusiasm for creating products in the realm of AT. Hackcessible is about learning and creating – if you’re excited about the projects, you’re welcome to participate.

Can I still participate, even if I'm not a student?

You sure can! We’re on the lookout for sponsors, judges, and mentors in healthcare, tech, academia, and their intersections. If you’re interested, shoot us an email at info@hackcessible.org and we’ll be in touch.

Am I expected to produce a working prototype my client can use?

The purpose of Hackcessible is to get participants involved in creating and hacking with the AT space. Clients understand that the results of the Make-a-thon may not be an immediately usable project. But if you’d like to continue developing your project after the make-a-thon with your client, we’re happy to help and provide some resources.

Will the challenger be telling us exactly what they want us to make? Is there a creative aspect to the make-a-thon?

All team members, including the challenger, are encouraged to initially focus on the unmet need and not come to the makeathon with a solution in mind but rather iteratively develop a solution as a team. No one will be dictating what you’re building during the event.

What’s the position intellectual property (IP) and confidentiality?

Hackessible is an open event for people to make new connections and explore technology solutions to challenges faced by people with disabilities. We’d like to make great progress and create a stimulating and fun environment. With this in mind, we want to be in a position to consider IP, but do not want this to impact the spirit of the event too much.

We will have a sign-in sheet for each team, so that we know who’s involved and can keep in touch.

For ideas, designs and inventions that may emerge during the event, any resulting IP should be considered. If the intention is to apply for IP rights in the future (e.g. patents, design rights), ideas should be kept confidential by only speaking about them in general terms and being careful about social media posts. Our working model is that IP generated by an individual(s) will be owned by them. Importantly, the solution needs to benefit the co-designer(s) and their contribution should be fully reflected in any further developments.

The aim is to provide some guidance on next steps after the event, especially if people wish to take their ideas forward commercially. For example, a follow-up confidentiality agreement may be required as a starting point.

Due to the nature of the event, unfortunately we cannot guarantee confidentiality. So if you have any pre-existing ideas and inventions and are considering seeking IP protection for them, we recommend that you do not bring these to the event.

Does Hackcessible offer travel reimbursements?

We are currently unable to provide travel reimbursements for the participants. However, we are able to provide some support for the travel needs of challengers if necessary.

What if I have more questions?

Shoot us an email at info@hackcessible.org