SourceAmerica Announces 2022 IDEATE Finalists for Disability Inclusion Innovation

By Jay Thomas 03/31/2022

National engineering competition addressing workplace barriers for people with disabilities.

SourceAmerica® proudly announces the finalists of its 2022 IDEATE Engineering Competition. Three college and five high school teams from across the country will compete in separate divisions in the virtual 2022 IDEATE Finals event on April 13. 

IDEATE stands for Imagine, Design, & Evaluate Assistive Technologies for Employment. The national engineering challenge encourages high school and college students to create assistive technology that increases workplace success for people with disabilities. In addition, student teams collaborate with a person with a disability in their community to evaluate a need and develop an innovative solution that makes a real difference. 

How It Works

The SourceAmerica IDEATE Engineering Competition is free to enter and offers student teams a range of benefits and prizes, including monetary prizes, engineering project experience which can be leveraged for college applications, as well as an internship at SourceAmerica. Finalist teams will present their projects, receive rankings from the judges based on scalability, repeatability and impact; and participate in an awards ceremony for winners. Judges for IDEATE are SourceAmerica experts in workforce development and productivity engineering.

“Through innovation and imagination, SourceAmerica is encouraging the next generation of engineers to discover solutions that improve employment opportunities and experiences for people with disabilities,” said Shane Kanady, vice president of workforce development. “This year’s teams have demonstrated a commitment to an inclusive workplace by creating assistive technology.”

College Team Finalists

1.    Ohio University - Athens, Ohio

Team: OU Stake Labeler

Project: Staking a Claim on a More Effective and Efficient Process

The Ohio University team developed a stake labeler machine to help employees with disabilities more efficiently and effectively label yard stakes. 

2.    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo - San Luis Obispo, California

Team: Cal Poly SLO

Project: Easing the Way to Increased Job Comfort and Efficiency with eZcart

The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo team designed and created the eZcart: a new custodial cart that increases on-the-job comfort and efficiency.

3.    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Blacksburg, Virginia

Team: Team Juvo

Project: Achieving Greater Productivity with the Assembly Base

The Virginia Tech team designed The Assembly Base platform to increase productivity and in turn, help them achieve their financial and independence goals. 

High School Team Finalists

1.    Brentwood High School - Brentwood, New York

Team: Brentwood Research Engineers

Project: Scoring a Victory for Increased Productivity and Wages with the Victory Sealer

The Brentwood High School engineering team created an assistive device for heat sealing packages called The Victory Sealer to enable the one-handed operation of a typical heat seal press.

2.    Diamond Bar High School - Diamond Bar, California

Team: DB Engineers

Project: Earning the Sweet Taste of Success with an Improved Candy Labeling Process

The Diamond Bar High School team designed an improvement process for applying labels to candy containers. The team’s final design consisted of two automated parts: a label applicator and a label dispenser. 

3.    Poolesville High School - Poolesville, Maryland

Team: Team Better Tomorrow

Project: Sealing the Deal on New Job Opportunities with a Resealing Device

The Poolesville High School team combined fiber-optic sensing with an audible indicator to enable visually impaired individuals to independently reseal defective plastic bags. 

4.    Marquette Catholic High School - Alton, Illinois

Team: Tristar Enterprises

Project: Breaking Down Barriers with the Bolder

The Marquette Catholic High School team built a device called the Bolder that helps employees more easily and efficiently fold boxes for dog bones.

5.    Wethersfield High School - Wethersfield, Connecticut

Team: WHS Jets

Project: Achieving SUPER Results with the S.U.P.

The Wethersfield High School team built a device called the S.U.P. (Super Ultimate Pusher) that helps employees insert plastic spacers into bottle caps. 

The SourceAmerica 2022 IDEATE Competition Finals event is free to attend. Registration is open to the public. It will be held virtually to address the ongoing complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the IDEATE engineering competition, please visit

About SourceAmerica

SourceAmerica connects government customers and other organizations to a national network of nonprofit agencies that hire a talented segment of the workforce – people with disabilities. Established in 1974, SourceAmerica is committed to increasing economic and social inclusion and advocating for a more accessible future of work for people with differing abilities. As a leading job creator within the disability community and distinguished as an AbilityOne authorized enterprise, SourceAmerica harnesses the momentum and boosts the capability of its network and customers. To learn more, visit and follow @SourceAmerica on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.