Access and Abilities Competition

Do you want to make a difference in your community? 

More than 15 percent of the world population (about 1 billion people) live with disabilities, such as hearing, vision, mental health, or mobility impairments. EPICS in IEEE supports projects that solve accessibility issues within communities, enable adaptive services, redesign technology for equity, and develop assistive technologies.

The Competition

The Access and Abilities competition is meant to challenge university students from all over the world to use their engineering skills to help solve accessibility issues within their communities.  Students, faculty, and professionals will have the opportunity to address the technological needs of communities. Proposals should identify an accessibility problem in the local community, and detail how the student team will attempt to solve the problem using engineering and technology skills. Student teams can win $5,000-10,000 USD to build their prototype or solution.



  • Include students! If a project is not student-led, young professionals and professional IEEE members are able to submit a project, but high school or university students should be significantly involved in the design and deployment process.
  • Submit quarterly progress reports and a final summary report.
  • Use dedicated competition funding for materials related to the project. (i.e, salaries, honorariums, personal computers, significant capital equipment or research supplies, etc. are not eligible for funding.)
  • Teams must submit their proposal through the EPICS in IEEE proposal platform.

  • Funded projects will be eligible for a $500 prize!

Important Dates

  • Proposal Submission Deadline: November 1st, 2022
  • Projects Selection: December 2022
  • Quarterly Progress Reports Due: 1 March, 1 June, 1 September
  • Project Completion – November 2023
  • Final Report – December 2023

Jon C. Taenzer Memorial Fund

This competition is funded by the Jon C. Taenzer Memorial Fund established by the IEEE Foundation in 2019 with a generous bequest from the Estate of Mr. Taenzer, an IEEE Life Senior Member. The fund is restricted for the purpose of supporting engineers in developing countries and to support breakthroughs in aids for the disabled.

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