2018 and 2019 saw a group of passionate coders, students and industry professionals (both sighted and persons with blindness/low vision) come together in January at Bangalore for the Inclusive Stem Hackathon.
The hackathon was where blind and visually impaired developers, industry professionals and CS students came together to work on exciting and challenging problems. The aim of the hackathon was to sensitize the engineers from potential IT companies and change the wider company mindset on the functioning and efficiency of persons with blindness and low vision by working together on the project, while also allowing the participants with disabilities an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals.
The two Inclusive Stem hackathons saw nearly 60 blind participants, sighted students from seven universities and corporate professionals from eleven tech companies participate. Participants worked on a variety of projects using varied skills including machine learning, blockchain technology, core accessibility skills, among others. We received very positive feedback from the participants, and the hackathon also led to positive employment opportunities for some.
With success of the past two year, we are excited to bring back a better and bigger version of the event - Inclusive Stem Confluence 2020!
17th-18th January 2020
International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore. Address: 26/C, Hosur Rd, Electronics City Phase 1, Electronic City, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560100
This year’s event will have three tracks.
Inclusive Stem Confluence Event and Registration Details
The Inclusive Stem Hackathon is a 24 Hrs. hackathon involving participants with and without disabilities to work on high impact projects. Teams will be formed prior to the event, and participants are free to discuss ideas before the event. The event will culminate in a demo day on 18th January 2020 at IIIT Bangalore.
Who is eligible?
Any developer (software engineer, data scientist, Android/IOS developer etc.) who is passionate about diversity and inclusion and would like to work with developers with disabilities to develop software solutions to support people with disabilities is eligible.
Any person with disability who is a developer/coder interested in spreading awareness about persons with disability in the IT team and would like to work in teams to develop software solutions to support people with disabilities is eligible.
The solution must focus on one of the following
Education for people with disabilities : People with disabilities continue to face challenges in accessing equal quality education as others. This theme challenges participants to come up with innovation that can facilitate people with disabilities to realize this on an equal basis as others using technical solutions. You may develop for education at any level (primary, secondary, post-secondary, skill-based education etc ).
Employment opportunities for people with disabilities : Several corporates are now realizing the potential of students with disabilities and actively coming forward to consider them for various positions. This track challenges participants to develop solutions that can facilitate in this connection and help students with disabilities become more employable. This also encourages participants to think about solutions that can empower employees without disabilities to get sensitized about the potential and abilities of people with disabilities, thereby bridging the gap in the corporate world.
Social skills for people with disabilities : Social connection is extremely important for everyone, including people with disabilities. Unfortunately, due to low expectations and biases around disabilities, and sometimes due to accessibility challenges, people with disabilities face hurdles and challenges in communicating effectively with others. This theme challenges participants to develop technology to simplify social communication and acceptance.
Timeline and logistics
11th January : Registrations for the hackathon are closed.
17th and 18th January : Inclusive Stem Hackathon 2020
Important note on inclusion
A crucial criteria for the hackathon will be inclusion on the teams and accessibility of the end product. Accordingly, teams must strive to include participants with disability on the team. Not only will this help team develop better, but will really help everyone to see the power of inclusion in action. This also constitutes 20% of your final score.
Why get involved?
Work with developers with disabilities to develop technology that can support them and other people with disabilities
The teams will be able to present their work to assistive technology experts, senior researchers and senior corporate executives
The winning teams receive amazing prizes
An opportunity to receive support for continued development of the project
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.
Workshops and Training Programs
This year as part of the Inclusive Stem Confluence, we will be organizing a series of workshops and trainings to expose both participants with and without disabilities to important topics in tech and inclusion. These workshops includes disability 101 and accessibility for participants without disabilities, and workshops on Python, data structures and algorithms, machine learning, blockchain and computational thinking for participants with disabilities. Hackathon participants are automatically registered for workshops
This year the Inclusive Stem Confluence aims to be a facilitator to connect excellent talent pool amongst persons with disabilities with potential employers keen to have a diverse workforce.
While we do not give any guarantee on job offers, we hope that the connections will enable both employers and applicants to find the right match.
Who is eligible?
For Applicants: Only participants with disabilities in the hackathon or the workshops/training programs are permitted to register for the employer connect program.
For Prospective Employers: Any employer looking at expanding their diversity profile is welcome to register.
Timeline and logistics
For Applicants: You need to upload your CV along with filling the employer connect registration form as part of the common registration form latest by 15th December 2019
For Prospective Employers: You can register by emailing us at email@example.com latest by 15th December 2019.
Inclusive Stem Confluence team will share with registered employers the database of all applicants post 15th December 2019.
Employers are encouraged to do pre-screening of candidate before the event.
On 18th January the Inclusive Stem Confluence team will facilitate the final interviews for shortlisted candidates or arrange for a meet and greet between employer and candidates for already selected candidates as the case may be.
Why get involved?
Oftentimes, the last mile connect between talent and employers especially in the diversity space remains a challenge. With increasing number of persons with blindness entering the IT space, we hope that this annual confluence with its employer connect program becomes the bridge to resolve this ensuring a win-win for all!