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Why Should You Participate in Design Challenge?

  • Get real-world engineering experience by developing human-centered design solutions 
  • Visit Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and raise awareness of the challenges people with disabilities face in the workplace
  • Improve economic mobility for people with disabilities 
  • Create a positive, lasting impact on community-based nonprofit agencies that employ people with disabilities
  • Earn school credits
  • Win money

We challenge you to improve the lives of others! By joining the SourceAmerica Design Challenge you will be supporting  the economic mobility of people with disabilites throughout the U.S. and designing technology so everyone can work.

During the challenge, you will build a team, work with a Subject Matter Expert (SME), find a workplace barrier, create a piece of technology, improve processes, build, test, and document your invention. Winning teams are invited to Washington, DC, to showcase their designs, meet with members of Congress on Capitol Hill, and compete for awards.    

Your team must include a student team leader, student team members, a coach, and an SME. The SME is the person with a disability who co-designs with the team and will use the invention at work. Collaborate with an SME in your community or an SME at one of our nonprofit members for this project. Remember, your inventions must be employment-related and are evaluated based on their impact and not technological sophistication.

2019 Design Challenge Winners

How to participate:

The student team leader must register for the Design Challenge. After registering, the student team leader will receive a team login and password for our file-sharing system, Egnyte, and access to download the "Design Challenge Rule Book". 

To start your project, use your team's information to log into the Egnyte portal, download the required registration forms and the "Design Challenge Rule Book" from the "Information" folder.

Use your team's information to log into the Egnyte portal to upload the completed registration forms to your team folder.

  • Find an SME in your community or reach out to a nonprofit member using the NPA locator . Each team must develop a piece of technology and a process designed to overcome a workplace obstacle for a person with a disability.
  • When choosing a project, remember your invention or process must be workplace/employment-related, and you should review the "How to Pick a Project Handout."

Use your team's information to log into the Egnyte portal to upload the completed projects to your team folder. Your project must include a brief project summary, an Authors' Agreement, a Technical Paper, 3D Model Drawings or software code, a video, and additional team paperwork*.
 
*See the "Design Challenge Rule Book" for the full list in the information folder on the Egnyte portal.

Judges will evaluate the projects based on their positive impact on the workplace, such as job creation/retention, wage increases, production increases, contracts gained, waste reduction, stress/anxiety reduction, and improved processes.

Five high school teams and three college teams will be chosen as national winners. If your team is chosen as a national winner, SourceAmerica will notify your coach. SourceAmerica sponsors and arranges your travel to the finals event. Where the national winners will present their projects and compete for monetary awards.