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Hackcessible 2018

University of Sheffield logo We have been asked to pass on this invitation to be part of the University's first disability-focused make-a-thon: Hackcessible:

Sheffield is a city of makers, with a tremendous history of technology talent and ingenuity. We are a group of students and staff based at the University of Sheffield with a deep passion for developing technology for good and a firm belief that science, engineering and design should be used to make the world a better place for all. Inspired by the likes of the AT-Hack at MIT, one of the first disability-related hackathons, and the popular BBC programme “The Big Life Fix”, we are planning our first disability-focused make-a-thon - Hackcessible 2018 later this year. 

Interested in being a co-designer?

We're wondering whether you or anyone you know would be interested in participating as a co-designer! We're looking for approximately eight co-designers with disabilities who have a challenge in mind. This could be anything from something you are unable to do, to an activity you would like to make easier, or even a passion that you are currently unable to pursue. You don’t need to have any coding or other technical skills, just a willingness and availability to work closely with a team. Teams of students, comprised of engineers, designers and computer scientists, will be matched to co-designers. Over the course of the make-a-thon, each team will try to develop a solution that addresses the need presented by its co-designer. 

The schedule of the hackathon is roughly as follows:

On the evening of Friday, October 26th, 2018, we will host an informal dinner in which co-designers will introduce themselves and describe a problem that they wish to solve. Students will form teams, and each team will begin to brainstorm ideas with its co-designer. The teams will have five weeks following this meeting to develop a deep understanding of the co-designer’s challenge in context and to mock up possible solution ideas. 

On Saturday and Sunday, Dec 1st/2nd, 2018, students will create their prototype assistive technology solutions at the iForge makerspace at The Diamond Building on the University campus. On the Sunday afternoon, teams will present their solutions to a mixed audience of students, staff and others interested in new technologies that support people with disabilities.

Because this is a 2-day event, we do not expect all teams to create workable products. However, we do expect each team to connect with its co-designer, work together with that co-designer to understand his/her situation, and develop at minimum a concept or early prototype assistive technology solution for that individual. 

Keen to participate?

If you are interested in participating as a co-designer at the hackathon this year, please fill out this form so that we can learn more about you and your ideas.  Our team will review responses and respond to you within a few days, so please stay tuned!  Feel free to reach out to us at  If you would like us to provide this questionnaire in an alternate format, or with any questions you may have. 

We can provide support in getting to the venue(s), which will all be accessible.

Thank you for your time, 

The ‘Hackcessible 2018’ Team

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