How to Enter

1. Create your design

What would you design to make the everyday accessible? Identify a place, process, or object that you use often; identify a problem that makes it less accessible for people with disabilities; and design a solution for this problem.

You can enter as an individual or as a team of up to 3 people. Only one team member needs to submit your entry on behalf of the team. Learn more about the 2018 design challenge and use these resources to help ignite your creative thinking.

Tips for Creating Your Sketch:

  • You will need one sketch of your design idea that you will upload as a .jpg or .png (must be at least 8.5 x 11″ at 96 dpi).
  • We recommend using an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper.
  • Your sketch can be drawn in any medium by hand or on a computer.
  • The quality of the sketch will not be judged, but it should help illustrate the design concept.

If you are a student with a disability, you may submit a written description of your idea as a .pdf or an audio description of your idea as an .mp3 as needed (200 words or less).

2. Describe your design

Tell us more about your idea! Remember to use the design process resources as you work through the challenge! The online entry form will include a box where you can copy and paste your responses.

Design Challenge Questions:

  1. Tell us about the place, process, or object in your everyday life that you had in mind when you were designing your concept.
    What is it and how or when do you use it? Is this also used by others or a broader public, and if so, in what ways? (30 words or less.)
  2. Tell us about the challenge you identified with this place, process, or object that a user with a disability might have with it.
    What specifically about it makes it challenging for the user you had in mind? Is this something you observed or experienced? Is this also a challenge for people who do not have a disability? (50 words or less.)
  3. Tell us about your design idea and how it works.
    Think about how your design improves access to the place, process, or object that you described above for the user you identified, and consider the impact for a broader public. (50 words or less.)

If you are a student with a disability, you may submit audio files of your responses as .MP3 files as needed.

3. Submit your design

The competition entry deadline of February 12, 2018 at 11:59 PM (ET) has passed. No additional submissions are being accepted. Please email us at to sign up for information about next year’s competition.

Entry Requirements:

  • Your name and contact information, and the names and contact information for all team members, if applicable. Note: Only one team member needs to create an account and submit your entry on behalf of the team.
  • An upload of your design sketch as a .jpg or .png file, or alternate file type as described in step 1.
  • Responses to the design challenge questions noted in step 2.
  • An upload of your signed parent/legal guardian consent form as a .jpg, .png, or .pdf file (must be 300 dpi). Both pages must be completed and uploaded, and don’t forget the signature! If you are submitting a team entry, each team member must submit a signed parent/legal guardian consent form.

Important Notes:

  • Your entry cannot have any marks, logos, or writing on it that identifies authorship so that Cooper Hewitt can review all entries anonymously.
  • You may not share your design on social media or in any public manner until after the finalists are announced on March 12, 2018.
  • For any questions, please visit FAQs.