PerkinsHacks: Solving real problems for real people
At Perkins School for the Blind, we are always on the lookout for new, innovative ways to address challenges faced by members of the blind community. And now, we want your help! Please join us at our first-ever hackathon, where you'll have the opportunity to solve real problems faced by real people with visual impairment at home, school, in the workplace and in the community.
What you'll learn:
- How a blind person uses a mobile app
- How someone with low vision navigates a college campus
- How you can create technology that people with visual impairment can use
What you'll do:
- Hear directly from people who are blind about the challenges they face
- Create innovative tech-based solutions to real problems
- Connect with other hackers and have fun!
Pre-Hackathon Special Event (Invite only)
April 6, 2018 at 6:00 PM
April 13, 2018 at 4:00 PM through April 14, 2018 at 6:00 PM
@Perkins School for the Blind
Howe Building, Museum Area 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Howe Building, Dwight Hall 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Dinner & Challenge Experts Q & A
Howe Building, Dwight Hall 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Team Formation & Hacking Begins
Howe Building, Dwight Hall 8:00 PM
Grousbeck Center for Students & Technology, 8:30 PM - 11:30 PM
April 14, 2018 at 5:30 PM
@Perkins School for the Blind, Hilton Building Auditorium
Learn more about accessibility, existing and emerging accessible technology, screen readers, and living with blindness
What is accessibility?
- Developing beacon technology to aid navigation
- An app that turns a smartphone into a virtual white cane
- Artificial intelligence could change how people who are blind experience the world
- 'Horus' is a wearable assistant for the blind and visually impaired
- Video: How a blind software engineer uses AI to 'see' the world
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be on a team?
Yes. Participants need to work in a team between 3-5 people. Team formation will be formed around 8:00 PM on Friday, April 13th — after check in, opening ceremony, dinner, and challege experts Q & A. It is up to the students to decide which team they want to be on – based on the challenges.
Is overnight parking available?
Yes. Overnight parking is available on Perkins' campus at 55 Beechwood Ave., Watertown, MA 02472. You can park your car there and walk over to the main entrance of the Howe Building — where most of the activities and hacking will take place.
Will there be any travel assistance?
No. Unfortunately, Perkins does not provide hackers with travel reimbursement or travel assistance. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. However, we do provide a Lyft credit of up to $20 (limited quantity available) for ride to or from Perkins.
Where can I sleep at PerkinsHacks?
We will provide a quiet space for you to catch some sleep. We recommend that you would bring a sleeping bag or a pillow to the event.
How will I get to PerkinsHacks?
The Perkins campus is accessible via the MBTA 70 and 71 Bus Routes. We expect partner schools to provide transportation. We will also have limited Lyft credits.
Where is PerkinsHacks?
PerkinsHacks will take place at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. Our address is: 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472. View Directions »
When is it?
Registration begins at 3:00 PM and Opening Ceremony begins at 5:00 PM on Friday, April 13, 2018. Closing Ceremony begins at 5:00 PM on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
What should I bring?
Please bring your student ID and government issued ID for check-in and a laptop for hacking. In addition, the following are recommended: phone, chargers, toiletries and a sleeping bag (optional).
What if I don't know how to code?
No need to worry! We welcome students studying all disciplines as well as need designers, marketers and problem solvers of all types. There will also be company mentors to help you out.
Will this cost me money?
No. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we'll provide all the food, swag and fun times you need to have an amazing weekend.
Will I be able to borrow hardware for my project?
Yes, a variety of hardware will be made available from Major League Hacking.
Can I volunteer at PerkinsHacks?
Yes. Unfortunately, sign up for volunteer shifts is closed.
What is a hackathon?
The word "hack" is used to describe how multiple technologies can be used together in a new and innovative way. At a hackathon, teams of up to six people spend an allotted amount of time creating solutions to real-world challenges.
I've never been to a hackathon and I'm nervous.
Have no fear! PerkinsHacks is, first and foremost, a fun learning experience. We will have mentors to assist first-time and experienced hackers. Our goal is for you to leave PerkinsHacks having learned something.
Who can attend?
All college undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to attend PerkinsHacks!
I still have more questions!
Email us anytime at Hacks@Perkins.org