Create accessible technology with and for people with disabilities. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, NYU's ABILITY Lab is hosting a hackathon focused on digital and wearable solutions for accessibility.

Participants will receive the technology challenge Saturday morning. Over the course of the weekend you will meet four individuals with disabilities to discuss some of the issues they face day to day. Interdisciplinary teams will form to build functioning prototypes to be judged by an expert panel. All participants will be fueled with food, tech and fabrication support all weekend (including night). Breakout sessions with industry leaders, technologists, occupational therapists, and individuals with disabilities will take place throughout the weekend (schedule TBD). 

Winners will compete for prizes totaling $10,000, and will have the opportunity to continue their work as part of the AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge. Space is limited RSVP here!

About our collaborators:

Xian Horn's teaching and public speaking jobs bring her to many new places, and she must keep in contact with new people every day. She has cerebral palsy and uses two ski poles to walk. Xian is especially interested in hands-free mobile technologies that would allow her to work on the go. She is also interested in technologies that can help her get the word out about the importance of strong self-esteem and self-efficacy. 

Gus Chalkias teaches computer access at Baruch College's Computer Center for Visually Impaired People. Since becoming blind, Gus has learned how to use technology for entertainment and recreation, as well as for his work. He has countless ideas for new technologies that would be universally useful, and for ways to make existing technologies more accessible.

Jason DaSilva is a prolific filmmaker. He has won critical acclaim for several films, but is perhaps best known for When I Walk, a documentary about his life after his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Jason uses a power wheelchair, and has lost much of his hand motor function and some of his vision. He would like to be able to work more directly with his tools for editing and filming, as well as communicate more generally. He has some experience working with developers on his crowdsourcing accessibility map, AXS Map

Paul Kotler uses technology every day as his primary means of communication. Paul has autism and is a student, blogger, advocate and educator. He does not communicate verbally, but uses a tablet and keyboard to write his words. Paul advocates for those without a means of communication and works to help people understand that typing is just as valid a means of communication as speaking.  He wants technology that will make communication easier and technology that will help him manage his anxiety to allow him to stayed engaged in conversation.


Did you miss the exemplar presentations? Check out their slides below.


Participants must be 18 years of age or older to win a prize.

Attendence at the hackathon event is required. Space is limited RSVP here!

Hackathon Sponsors


$10,000 in prizes

First Prize

$5000 case prize

Second Prize

$3000 case prize

Third Prize

$2000 case prize

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


R. Luke Dubois, DMA

R. Luke Dubois, DMA
Co-Director / Associate Professor of Integrated Digital Media, NYU

Neil Giacobbi

Neil Giacobbi
Executive Director, Public Affairs at AT&T

Anita Perr

Anita Perr
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, NYU

Xian Horn

Xian Horn
Teacher, Speaker, Blogger and Beauty Advocate, @XianForBeauty83

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the Idea
  • Implementation of the Idea
  • Solution Promise

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