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About ADC


Across the world, people with disabilities play a role as important as everyone else. They could be entrepreneurs and self-employed workers, farmers and factory workers, doctors and teachers, shop assistants and bus drivers, artists and computer technicians. Indeed, all jobs can be performed by a person with disabilities when the appropriate support is provided.  


Unfortunately, it is not always that people with disabilities are recognized as equal to those with no disabilities. 

For instance, people with disabilities are far less likely to be employed. In a study conducted among people aged 18 to 64, while only 35.5% of people with disabilities were employed, 76.5% of people without disabilities were secured with a job, which is over double that of people with disabilities (*). These findings could be attributed to many factors, namely a lack of information about the labour market, accessible facilities, policy restrictions, and low awareness of co-workers. 


Although people with disabilities can contribute greatly to organisational goals in various ways, they can still be greatly hindered in work and life due to not being empathized with or having the right kind of support. For people with disabilities, their needs are ignored so often that they are eventually ostracized by the mass.  


One of the strongest pillars of ableism is the ideology that one’s worth can be measured by one’s productivity and by that only. Therefore, to create an inclusive environment for people with disabilities, we believe it is crucial for us to first learn to see them as whole individuals rather than their impairment only.

(*) Houtenville, A. and Boege, S. (2019). Annual Report on People with Disabilities in America: 2018. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire, Institute on Disability. Available at  



ADC Objectives

In the Accessibility Design Competition, RMIT University seeks innovative and inclusivity-oriented ideas to enable people with disabilities in all shapes and forms - including physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities - to access, perform and excel in working environments.  


The proposed designs/prototypes must address one of the barriers to work and employment, such as lack of access to information, misconception, discrimination, training, etc. The final solutions can be presented in the form of a hardware prototype, a design for communication, or an idea ready to be implemented.  


Each team comprises three students and one industry partner. The team will work together to come up with an innovative design/prototype to promote a disability-inclusive workplace.  


The medium of communication and presentation in the competition will be in English. The final design/prototype may be conceptualized in the team’s native language to solve local issues, but the delivery of the presentation must be in English.  


Competition Format

Participants will focus on one or more of the following groups:  

  • People with physical disabilities   

  • People with sensory disabilities   

  • People with cognitive disabilities   

  • People with multiple types of disabilities  


The team must submit their ideas in the form of a Design/Prototype to address one of the four barriers to employment as follows:   


  • Attitudinal barriers are assumptions and behaviours that hastily generalize persons with disabilities. These barriers often emerge from a lack of empathy, which often times results in misconceptions about persons with disabilities. Examples can be talking to a person with disabilities in a patronizing tone, or assuming they are incapable of accomplishing a task merely based on their impairment.   


  • Architectural/Industrial barriers are physical elements of any facilities or outdoor spaces that hinder persons with disabilities from accessing them. Such barriers can be the design of a building’s stairs or doorway, the speed of a revolving door, or the width of halls and sidewalks. 


This category also includes products that cannot be used by persons with disabilities because of their design. A jar that cannot be opened by someone who has a motor disability is an example of an industrial design barrier as well.  


  • Technological/Communication barriers occur when the intended audience cannot use a given piece of technology even with an assistive device. Technological barriers are often related to information and communications barriers, which take place when sensory disabilities, such as hearing or seeing disabilities, have not been considered. These barriers are both related to the information-sending and receiving process. 


For instance, if the print in an email or on a handout is too small to read, or if a website still cannot be read even when using a screen reader, technological barriers have taken place and are likely to transpire into communication barriers.  


  • Virtual Learning and Development: Virtual learning and development is a process of utilizing technology, computers, and the internet to create an online learning environment for employees or professionals to improve their skills and knowledge. Distance learning and development allows individuals to participate in training programs or courses without being physically present in a traditional classroom setting. Virtual learning and development can provide solutions to students and educators living with disabilities, however, it also presents challenges that must be understood by those administering the courses or responsible for the technology or systems.

Competition Journey & Judging Criteria

12 April 2023 - 09 May 2023 

15 May 2023 - 29 May 2023 

06 June 2023 - 15 June 2023 

19 June 2023 - 24 June 2023 

First Round - Online Registration

On April 26 2023, the first Masterclass would be held to equip students with basic knowledge in Diversity in the workplace, Universal Design (UD), and Inclusive language.  

The team leader will then represent the team of 3 students to register through the Registration section on the ADC website. The application must be submitted no later than 11:59pm, 9 May 2023  

Applications will be assessed by our screening committee, who will select 25 teams to move on to the Second Round – Idea Submission. The teams are selected to the next round will be informed via email on 11 May 2023 

The selections will be made based on the following criteria:  

  • Understanding of issues at hand. Submission demonstrates an understanding of the barriers to employment being discussed. 

  • Team. Submission describes the team’s composition and how the team’s background supports the solution development. 

  • Enthusiasm to solve the problem. Submission shows that you care for people with disabilities and are willing to solve a social issue. 

Second Round - Idea Submission

Every team is required to join the ADC Networking Night on 15 May 2023. This is the opportunity for the students to meet up with industry partners for the first time. After the networking session, each team will propose three preferred industry partners, then the organizing team will match each team with their industry partner based on these preferences. The team must submit three proposed industry partners by 11:59pm on 15 May 2023. We will inform and introduce the industry partner to each team on 16 May 2023 via email 


Every team is strongly encouraged to join the two Masterclass workshops held on 16 May 2023 and 19 May 2023. The first masterclass focuses on Innovative Thinking, the second masterclass aims to sharpen participants’ persuasion skills through an Elevator-Pitch workshop. A Mentoring Session will also take place on 25 May 2023 to help participants understand the world of people with disabilities and see how their projects can support people with disabilities in the workplace. 


Submission format: Each team is required to submit a 3-mins video presenting their elaborated idea to Organizing team via email by 11:59pm 29 May 2023.  

Ms. Van Pham – E:   

Ms. Lan Anh Pham – E:  

Subject: [ADC Submission – Second round] [ Team name]  


Your submission will be assessed by our special committee, who will select 12 teams to move on to the Third round – Design/Prototype Submission. The teams are selected to the next round will be informed via email on 1 June 2023.  


The selections will be made based on the following criteria:  

  • Clarity of the problem statement: This measures how well you are able to articulate the problem faced by people with disabilities in the workplace, and why it is important to address this issue. 

  • Creativity and Feasibility: This measures how innovative the proposed solution is, and whether it is practical to effectively support people with disabilities in the workplace. 

  • Impact and potential benefits: This measures the potential positive impact that the proposed solution could have on people with disabilities in the workplace, and how well you are able to demonstrate the benefits of your proposed solution. 

Third Round - Design/Prototype Submission 

In this round, 2 Masterclasses would be held on 6 June 2023 to best-assist participants in the development of their idea. The first masterclass, Design Thinking - From Idea to Prototype, will address the question of how to get an idea made into a prototype. On the other hand, the Business Mindset workshop will help participants to develop their business acumen and guide them in materializing their idea. 

Each team is expected to materialise and transform their ideas into a workable Prototype/Design with the following characteristics: Cost-consciousness, Production Integration, Innovation, and Intuitive. 


Submission format: Each team is required to submit a comprehensive presentation, including a detailed description of their prototype, to the Organizing team via email by 11:59pm 12 June 2023

Ms. Van Pham – E:   

Ms. Lan Anh Pham – E:  

Subject: [ADC Submission – Third round] [ Team name]  


The selections will be made based on the following criteria:  

  • Production Integration: The submission should provide a clear description of how the solution can be seamlessly integrated into a product or a specific design. It should also address scalability, ease of integration, and market readiness. 

  • Innovation: The submission should showcase the amount of effort and thought put into finding innovative solutions or novel approaches to existing problems. 

  • Cost-consciousness: How does the team consider the cost of implementation of the product to the market? 

  • Intuitiveness: The submission should demonstrate an easy and intuitive solution for prospective users. The solution should be able to be operated independently by users with one or more types of disabilities. 

After being assessed by our Board of Mentors, 6 teams will be selected to enter the Finale. The announcement will be made on 15 June 2023 on the ADC Website and the official Facebook fanpage of ADC. 

Final Round - Pitching

The Exclusive Workshop – The Art of Pitching on 19 June 2023 will help participants present their project in the best possible manner. Participants will also get the opportunity to receive early feedback in the Mock Pitching sessions from 20 - 22 June 2023, in which they will also learn about inclusive glossary and pitching skills from our coaches. Details of the two sessions will be shared via email.   


On 24 June 2023 – Pitching Day, each team will have 10 minutes to take turns and present their ideas in terms of design/prototype to the Board of Judges.   


The Judging Criteria for the Finale are as follows:  

  • Presentation: The ability to present ideas coherently and comprehensively. 

  • Product Feasibility: The submission should demonstrate a practical path for implementation and production, including the identification of potential obstacles and the strategies to overcome them. 

  • Beneficial: The submission should describe the potential benefits for one or more target users, or demonstrate the potential benefits of the solution if developed. 

  • Cost and Adoption Considerations: The submission should provide a clear description of the expected costs to implement the idea and explain how those costs may impact the potential for scalable adoption in the future. 


  • The competition is open to all students currently enrolled in full-time Bachelor or Master program at the time of application as well as during the competition (expectedly from April till June 2023) at all universities in the Asia-Pacific region. 

  • Please note that applications must be submitted as a team consisting of three students. We do not accept individual applications. 

  • Each participant can only belong to one team. Individuals registered as members of multiple teams are not eligible. 

  • Students’ major or campus will not have any bearing on the application, it is possible for a team to be composed of three members from different majors or universities 

  • Only one member of the team fills in the online registration form and submits before the deadline. One group of students can submit ONLY once for every round.  

  • The language of all submissions must be in English. 


  • Submission must ensure intellectual property rights, we do not accept copying in any form. 

  • The competition’s organizers are not responsible for issues related to copyright disputes.  

  • By participating in this competition, students also will consent and agree that RMIT University’s Communications Office, its employees, or agents have the right to take photographs of them during the event and to use these in any media, including social media, associated with RMIT University Vietnam, and their name and identity may be revealed therein or by descriptive text.

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