Tasks, Challenges, and Grand Challenges

Some of these challenges are for volunteers and others have funding or prizes associated with them. All are intended to inspire and guide people who would like to work on key issues.

The challenges are particularly good for student projects, either as individuals or as teams. All are needed and provide an opportunity to carry our academic work that will really mean something if you are successful.


Short task (no more than a week to execute) that might or might not have a prize

  • The MasterList contains information on access techniques and approaches for all known barriers and disability categories. This includes techniques found in commercial software and hardware, free software, research prototypes, etc.   The Challenge is to find any approach not covered by items in the list  ($50 reward).    Also to find any research publication not cited in the supporting page.  ($5 for each and every paper citation)

    Award: $50 per approach accepted. $5 for each reference.

  • The Drupal Accessibility group is looking for a broad range of help in making Drupal more accessible. Some of them are: 


These are projects that require ingenuity and creativity. Sometimes they call for someone to do something for the first time. Sometimes they look for a better or best implementation. Awards are associated with some of these.

  • Awards for making any AT or mainstream product GPII compatible.

    Award: Be part of RtF-I's list of solutions

  • The Trace Center created a Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) that can analyze web and software to detect visual events that are known to cause seizures. This prize is for the creation of a “clean room” open source version of the tool.

    Award: $10,000

  • The development of an PDF reader that has readability features that allow users to change the visual presentation of the text including text enlargement with reflow, change font, line spacing, word spacing, highlighting andmore text search, and other accessible features without loss of information.

    SOLVED:   See the VIP PDF READER which has all these features and more.

  • Language translators are currently able to translate from complex languages into other languages that have fewer words and simpler syntax and grammar.  This project would develop the ability to translate between standard written English and a simpler form of English that has a restricted vocabulary and grammar.

  • This is a two part Challenge -- both parts relating to tools that can detect visual flashing in the environment That might lead to a photo induced seizure – and then taking some sort of action to lessen the impact of the effect in order to prevent the seizure.  One challenge relates to content on moniors.  The other to stimuli in the general environment. 

  • To provide access to Minecraft Game using eye controls only.

    For example: a Grid 3 gridset that allows a user to drive a Minecraft game (running alongside the Grid 3 on a capable Lenovo Yoga outfitted with an EyeX eye tracker). The existing online gridset is not well integrated. This is tricky because Minecraft isn't designed from the outset to be eye-tracking-friendly so careful thought would need to be given to how control over this game could be exercised to give the player an optimal outcome, or even if a special version of the game would need to be created to be more accessibility-friendly.

    Award: Two levels of award. $100 and $1000

  • Right click Dictionary/Translation/Idiom Utility -  for use by people who have trouble reading text due to it being a different language, or because they have a cognitive, language, and learning disability.   The user right clicks on a word and the utility looks it up and presents a pop-up with 
    a) the definition of the word, b)  a translation of the word into a language of the users choice, c) offer to read the text aloud, d) it looks to see if the word(s) is/are part of an idiom.  and if so - presets the idiom along with the meaning of the idiom.

    Award: $10,000

Grand Challenges

These are major endeavors to achieve something that has never been done – and it is not clear how to do achieve it. These can vary in difficulty (though all are difficult) and in type of reward. Some have no reward but are just a challenge thrown down to see if someone can solve them.

  • The development of a software robot that can view any webpage or computer screen and create a semantic model of all of the information there sufficient to represent it to a user in a functioning and equivalent interface of another form.   The robot can use keyboard or mouse to explore the screen.

  • The development of an under $1000 pen that can scan 270 to 360 degrees and detect all text in the environment, its distance and size, and present it to a blind user in a cogent fashion.  It can also locate text the user specifies and provide direction and distance for any text specified.

  • Demonstration of translation of english text into sign language with fingerspelling used only as it would be for an experienced interpreter – and display of the signs on screen by a photorealistic avatar.

  • A Challenge Prize by the AAL Association for products and services that use innovative digital technologies to support older people to participate fully in social life.

    NOTE: The date for the prize money for this challenge has passed - but the challenge remains. 

    Award: Total of €700 million funding for the ALL initiative ( REWARD PERIOD EXPIRED - but challenge remains. )