Did you know that 15% of the world’s population has a disability? while accessibility options were originally designed for people with disabilities, a Forrester study shows that 57% of current working-age computer users may benefit from accessible technology because of mild to severe vision, hearing, dexterity, speech and cognitive difficulties and impairments. 

To support this reality, that also affects Latin American countries, Microsoft Latam Azure team invites you to use your creativity, passion, and cloud expertise to build or update an application prototype with AI services on Azure that solves a challenge around accessibility to empower people living with disabilities.

The challenge is centered in promoting solutions development for accessibility purposes and showcasing their powerful and significant impact on society. Our main goal is to demonstrate how developer innovation can transform lives and help people achieve more every day leveraging AI technology on Azure.

AI is now capable of hearing, seeing, and reasoning with increasing accuracy. Real-time speech-to-text transcription, computer vision capabilities, and predictive text functionality are just a few examples of how AI is useful to people with disabilities today. AI for Accessibility aims to accelerate the development of accessible and intelligent AI solutions that build on recent advancements in Microsoft Cognitive Services to help developers create intelligent apps that see, hear, speak, understand and better interpret people’s needs.

Projects can support different focus areas like:

  • Education: Ensure accessibility of learning materials, language development and assistive technology options.
  • Employment: Attract, retain, and upskill talent with disabilities, including workplace accommodations.
  • Community: Improve personal connections to maintain relationships and mental health.
  • Home: Advance opportunities in appliances.
  • Healthcare.
  • Transportation.
  • Safety.

We recognize that technology alone cannot solve all the challenges of accessibility, but our hope is that you’ll develop solutions that can help empower people living with disabilities and create impact. Once you decide where you want to focus, Microsoft Azure is here to enable you to invent with purpose. From databases, to serverless code, to responsible AI and everything in between.

Requirements

Main requirement 

Build or update an application/prototype with Azure AI services that solves a challenge around accessibility. The application/prototype should be functional with real or sample data. 

Additional submission requirements 

  • Provide a way to access your working submission for judging and testing. Must enable access to source code for judging. Code must be open source. 
  • Include a text description that explains the features and functionality of the submission and describe how the submission could help solve the challenge stated.
  • Submit a video (not to exceed 5 minutes) that includes footage that clearly explains your application’s features and functionality through a comprehensive demonstration. The video must also include an explanation of how the feedback and experience of people with disabilities were incorporated into the design of your application. Video must include closed captioning.
  • Provide an Architecture Diagram outlining a high-level overview of the tools used within the application, including Azure services like AI. 
  • Provide an outline of how feedback and the experience of people with disabilities were incorporated into your application.

Hackathon Sponsors

Prizes

$10,000 in prizes

First Place

● $5,000 in USD
● Featured on the official Azure Developer Community blog
● Shout out on social media and other channels

Second Place

● $3,500 in USD
● Featured on the official Azure Developer Community blog
● Shout out on social media and other channels

Third Place

● $1,500 in USD
● Featured on the official Azure Developer Community blog
● Shout out on social media and other channels

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Judges

Maurice Alarcon

Maurice Alarcon
SR Customer Success Account Manager

Andrea Alvarez

Andrea Alvarez
Cloud Solution Architect Manager Latin America

Robert Minga

Robert Minga
Cloud BG Lead South Region

Amin Chequer

Amin Chequer
Partner Enablement Director

Livia Ferreira

Livia Ferreira
Microsoft Store Lead Latin America

Judging Criteria

  • Technological Implementation (50%)
    Includes how well Azure services like AI were leveraged by the developer.
  • Potential Accessibility Impact (30%)
    Includes level at which solution engaged people with disabilities to develop projects.
  • Quality of the Idea (20%)
    Includes creativity and originality of the idea.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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