Facebook-Funka Accessibility Hackathon
We are happy to announce the winner of the Facebook-Funka Accessibility Hackathon: Natalie Wochner from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands!
Natalie submitted Follow Me, a digital assistant app and device to help guide people with low vision or people with cognitive disabilities through a supermarket and find their items.
”Follow Me is a creative, practical, and achievable solution, and has great potential to make a significant impact for people with vision loss. We believe it may also be of great usefulness to people with cognitive disabilities and want to strongly encourage you to continue advancing this solution and promoting equal access for all”, says Mike Shebanek, Head of Accessibility at Facebook and Chairman of the Hackathon jury.
Natalie Wochner will receive an Oculus Quest 2 for her winning submission.
Three solutions were presented at the 30th of November online event. The runners up were:
Gustav Walter and Emil Hadås, both from Sweden, jointly submitted a support ticket browser plug-in that makes it easy for users to report accessibility issues and for web developers to replicate and fix them.
Liliana Hu from Italy presented the Charlie Chatbot, which aims to combat social isolation through digital technology.
We applaud each of the applicants for their creativity and commitment to promoting equal access for all.
The distinguished jury, covering the perspectives of policy, end users and industry:
Mike Shebanek, Chairman
Head of Accessibility, Facebook
Senior Expert on Social Affairs, Disability and Inclusion Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
Member of the European Parliament from Hungary
Policy Coordinator, European Disability Forum
Barbara Martin Muñoz
Second Vice-President, European Blind Union
Soufine El Amrani
Easy-to-read Editor, Inclusion Europe
Founder and Executive Director, Able Gamers
Senior Director of Engineering, Google
Engineering Manager / Software Engineer, Specialist in Accessibility, Facebook
Chief Research and Innovation Officer, Funka
Facebook and Funka co-organized this virtual Hackathon on accessibility and inclusion. Students from across Europe participated and created innovative digital solutions for increased accessibility. Three submissions were selected to be presented in the Hackathon event to a panel of judges consisting of representatives of disabled persons organizations, the most renowned accessibility experts and EU-level policy makers.