I’m excited to share with you details of a new award we’ll be presenting in a few weeks’ time at the Imagine Cup World Finals in Redmond.
Imagine Cup has a long history of projects that go to the heart of how to impact and change lives, especially those with disabilities. Just last year, there were some amazing finalist projects that empowered people with disabilities – from navigating a Windows device with your tongue, to navigating a city as a wheelchair user and many more. I had the chance to spend time with those teams during judging and see firsthand the work that went into understanding the experience of people with disabilities all the way through to the final prototypes and designs.
With more than 1 billion people in the world with disabilities, it’s important to think about how technology can impact and make a difference in people’s lives. This year, we want to help you make a difference. We will recognize the student team that demonstrates innovation with the potential to drive a more accessible and inclusive workplace and world. The winning team will be awarded the Microsoft Imagine Cup “Ability Award” and will be given the opportunity to come back to Redmond for an “Ability Bootcamp” – spending time with experts in disability, accessibility and inclusive design from across Microsoft, refining their project and getting invaluable insight.
Projects will be judged on the potential impact they can have on the lives of people with disabilities as well as design principles, usability and potential in the market place. Other criteria include how the project has been tested with people with disabilities and, finally, overall quality of the execution.
I cannot wait to get started. Check out the criteria below and be ready for one heck of a competition!