LiveWell 2018 Student App Challenge

LiveWell RERC is sponsoring an app development competition for middle, high school, and college students as well as non-professional developers.  Three winning apps will be selected to receive a cash award.  We will also select two apps at random for prizes, so we encourage you to submit your project even if it is a simple app.

The LiveWell App Challenge is intended to promote awareness of the need for assistive and accessible technologies by fostering innovation through a fun, hands-on activity. Applicants are encouraged to submit mobile applications that address a need from one of LiveWell’s target areas, but apps from any area will be accepted.  We are particularly interested in apps that can be used by people with disabilities and people who are aging.

  • Health and function
  • Accessibility
  • Money management
  • Navigation
  • Home automation and control
  • Personal communication
  • Access to public announcements and notifications

General Timeframe:

Competition opens immediately.  Register here:

Developer registration and identification of clinical collaborator or subject matter expert (SME) must be completed by April 1, 2018.  If you would like assistance identifying a collaborator or SME you must contact us by March 21, 2018 at

Submissions are due by May 1, 2018.

The announcement of the winning submissions:  May, 2018.


  1. Individuals or teams can participate.  Developers will need to sign up for the competition here:
  2. Each submission needs to have a clinical collaborator or subject matter expert (SME) identified.   We can help if you cannot identify a clinical collaborator or SME.
  3. Each applicant will need to review information on accessible interface design and complete a short questionnaire (the questionnaire will be sent to the contact on the registration form).
  4. This competition is open to current middle, high school and college students or non-professional developers.  If you are an organization or professional developer consider submitting to the Assistive and Accessible Mobile Applications App Factory.  Feel free to contact us if you are unsure if you qualify:
  5.  Apps can be written in any language for any platform or device. 
  6. All competition requirements will need to be met and apps with 1 page written summary will need to be submitted to the LiveWell App Portal by 9 pm eastern time, May 1, 2018 in order to qualify for the competition.  Details to follow.
  7. Apps will be evaluated by a panel of subject matter experts and the winners will be announced here in May 2018.


The competition welcomes submissions from most countries around the globe. However, individuals or organizations may be disqualified if they are based in a nation, state, province, or territory where U.S. or local law prohibits participating in the competition or receiving a prize. This includes individuals, who are residents of, and organizations domiciled in Brazil, Quebec, Cuba, Sudan, Iran, North Korea, Mexico, Syria or any other country designated by the United States Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Review Criteria:

Apps will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  1. The app addresses an important accessibility or assistive technology need (50 points).

    • Clearly documented target population: You should clearly define the target end user population including functional limitations, ages and other pertinent demographic characteristics of intended users of the app or hardware. Apps targeted at underserved populations will receive priority. Underserved populations are defined with respect to access and effective use of consumer technology, such as those with motor/dexterity impairment, deaf-blind individuals (including those who are both hard of hearing and low-vision), and individuals with cognitive impairment.

    • Cleary documented clinical or accessibility need: Evaluation of importance of the app will be based on the degree of impact on that population (apps intended for use by a small population may be judged important if the impact is high).

    • Meaningful collaboration with recognized clinical or other subject matter expert/s: Developer has partnered with a clinical or other subject matter expert who can document expertise working with people who have the condition that the app proposes to address.

  2. The app is fully functional and useable to the target population (50 points).
    • The app must be able to be run on standard mobile devices, computers or target equipment as defined by the developer.  We will make every effort to have your app evaluated and tested by members of the target population to ensure that it is accessible and useable.

Intellectual Property:

This is your work and you can do with it what you want.  You wrote it, you own it.  LiveWell RERC will NOT make claims on any work submitted to the app competition.  Applicants agree to have their submissions posted to the LiveWell RERC website.

About LiveWell:

Through a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Community Living, Health and Function (LiveWell RERC) seeks to enhance the use and usability of information and communication technologies (ICT) for people of all ages and abilities. The LiveWell RERC's mission is to promote ICT access to existing and emerging technologies for all people regardless of ability; and to develop and validate ICT applications to improve the capacity for independent living and community participation.