Inclusive STEM (I-Stem), a group that aims to be the leading self-advocacy group focused on changing the mindset, resource availability and opportunities for persons with blindness and low vision to pursue STEM education and careers in India, in collaboration with E-Health Resource Centre (EHRC), IIIT Bangalore; Vision Aid, Vision Empower and Xavier Resource Centre for Visually Challenged (XRCVC) organized a hackathon during January 20-21 at the IIIT Bangalore campus. 12 teams of 5 persons each (consisting of 2 blind/low-vision students – many of who are pursuing technical programmes at IITs/NITs/IIITs, 1 sighted student from IIIT Bangalore and 2 working industry professionals representing companies like Deutsche Bank, Google, Honeywell, Microsoft, Mindtree, Uber, Wipro) worked on challenging and exciting accessible technology solutions that ranged from navigating crowded public spaces, filtering information from social media sites, helping students prepare for Model United Nations (MUN) competitions and learning mathematics through simple games. The participants felt, it provided them a good opportunity to understand and appreciate how blind people code and to explore how they could jointly work towards making the IT industry a more inclusive workplace. The following teams were awarded prizes based on their work:
1st prize: “3rd Eye: identifying objects around you and their relationships”: Aman Datta, Mayank Senani, Rama Krishna, Rishabh Jain, Rutwik Vempati
2nd prize: “Snapes and Brooms: snakes and ladder game with a Harry Potter twist”: Abhijit Dasgupta, Harsha, Manjot Singh, Mohammad Khalid, Sai Krishna
3rd prize: “CurrenSee: a currency recognition app”: Abhishek Aggarwal, Kartik Sawhney, Shashidhar Gurumurty, Siddhartha Raja, Tarun Pandey.