Grow your cloud skills and harness the power of Azure, with services like AI, to amplify human capability for more than one billion people around the world with a disability.

Microsoft U.S. invites you to use your creativity, passion, and cloud expertise to create an Azure-powered solution in education to empower people living with a disability. This hackathon will specifically focus on accessibility, education, and technology. Projects should be deeply informed by the experience of people with disabilities – whether they are members of a hackathon team or consulted throughout the process.  

One in four adults in the US – 61 million Americans – live with a disability (1). Disability segments include: vision, hearing, neurodiversity, learning, mobility, and mental health. Some are highly visible, while others are less obvious.  

Projects that address accessibility in education use Azure services like AI to ensure the accessibility of learning materials, language development, and assistive technology options. We’ve compiled a list of potential areas that you might consider for this hack, but we encourage you to choose an area (or areas) that you’re passionate about making an impact. This may include but is not limited to: 

  • Improve literacy for people with learning disabilities
  • Empower faculty living with disabilities 
  • Requesting and providing classroom accommodations
  • Assistive technology for students with disabilities
  • Remote and virtual learning environments for students with disabilities
  • Making STEM and CS education accessible for students with disabilities
  • Additional timely and relevant accessibility in education issues are welcome 

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, we will help you develop new skills and continue on your personal cloud development journey.  

Devpost believes accessibility is important. Please email support@devpost.com with any thoughts on how this site’s accessibility could be improved.

Please read the Microsoft Code of Conduct

(1) CDC: 1 in 4 US adults live with a disability | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

View full rules

Hackathon Sponsors

Prizes

$10,000 in prizes

First Place

• $5000 in USD
• Featured on the official Azure Developer Community blog
• Shout out on FB @MSFTDev.US and Twitter @MSTCommunity
• Swag valued at $150

Second Place

• $2500 in USD
• Featured on the official Azure Developer Community blog
• Shout out on FB @MSFTDev.US and Twitter @MSTCommunity
• Swag valued at $100

Third Place

• $1000 in USD
• Featured on the official Azure Developer Community blog
• Shout out on FB @MSFTDev.US and Twitter @MSTCommunity
• Swag valued at $100

Honourable mentions (3)

• $500 in USD
• Featured on the official Azure Developer Community blog
• Swag valued at $50

Completion of Azure AI Fundamentals Learning Path (Cloud Skills Challenge) (200)

All participants that complete the below Learning Path are eligible to receive swag valued up to $20. (https://aka.ms/accessibilityhackcscreg)

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Eligibility

Developers of all backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to submit projects. Individuals, and teams of individuals, must all be legal residents of the fifty United States (including the District of Columbia), and 18 years of age or older. 

Microsoft values and respects individual and cultural differences and is committed to providing an inclusive environment that is welcoming and free from discrimination. As you tackle these issues, we encourage you to develop solutions that empower communities and individuals. Any solutions that promote or encourage discrimination around race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, political affiliation, union membership or veteran status, will not be eligible for judging or prizes.  

Note: Government officials, corporations, and employees of Microsoft or Devpost are not eligible to win prizes but may submit projects. See full rules for further restrictions. 

Requirements

Main requirement 

Build an application prototype with Azure for and with people with disabilities in the context of education. The application 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 3-5 minute demo video of the app in action (hosted on YouTube, Vimeo), to prove it is a real application, and not an animation. Your video should include a demo of your working submission via a step-by-step visual demo. The video must include an explanation of how the experience of people with disabilities was engaged. Video must include caption.
  • Provide an Architecture Diagram outlining a high-level overview of the tools used within the application, including Azure services like AI. 
  • Please submit at least one image/screenshot of your submission. 

Judges

Kartik Sawhney

Kartik Sawhney
Integration Engineer, AI for Accessibility at Microsoft

Jennifer Snoddy, MCT

Jennifer Snoddy, MCT
Sr. Customer Engineer – SharePoint / Microsoft 365, Co-Lead: Accessibility in the Modern Workplace, Former Associate Professor/ Department Chair of Information Technology, Brightwood College, Indianapolis

Sep DiMeglio

Sep DiMeglio
UX & Accessibility Customer Engineer at Microsoft, Co-lead for: Worldwide Accessibility Community & Global LGBTQI+ Employees at Microsoft (GLEAM) NYC

Jim Kao

Jim Kao
Senior Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft

Steve Loethen

Steve Loethen
Senior Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft

William Salazar

William Salazar
Senior Customer Engineer at Microsoft

Fernanda Bonnin

Fernanda Bonnin
Program Manager II at Microsoft

Judging Criteria

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

themes

  • Social Good
  • Machine Learning/AI
  • Education