Student Design Competition

The RESNA 2017 Student Design Competition is open for submissions!

DEADLINE: 11:59PM ET on April 14, 2017

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The RESNA Student Design Competition (SDC) is an annual competition that showcases creative and innovative assistive technology designs that help people with disabilities function more independently. Student teams represent a wide variety of disciplines including mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineering; computer information science; architecture; and physical and occupational therapy. Entries are judged on originality, quality of design, and usefulness to persons with disabilities. SDC winners have frequently moved on to become leaders in the field of assistive technology.  Only undergraduate and masters level graduate students currently enrolled in a college or university are eligible to apply.  


Please review the 2017 RESNA Student Design Competition (SDC) Guidelines (in PDF format) to ensure you meet all requirements for submitting a project. This includes style, formatting, and rules you must follow to submit a project successfully. After reviewing the guidelines, download the Submission Form (in PDF format) and provide the requested information. Every project requires this form. Upon completion, please use the Online Submission System Instructions (in PDF format) to submit your projects' required documents to the “Online Submission System.” The following six files (see Submission Guidelines) are required:

  1. The Submission Form
  2. Design Brief in PDF format (6 pages, max)
  3. Text-only Design Brief in Word format (6 pages, max)
  4. Signed supervisor letter
  5. Product photo that clearly displays the product (JPG format)
  6. Team photo (JPG format)

Before submitting, check for spelling, that all necessary documents were submitted, and that all fields were completed. Click “Submit.” If applicable, a “Conflict of Interest” screen will appear. If there is no conflict, please click “Skip Conflict Section” to complete your submission. Finally, click “Email” in the upper-right corner to send yourself and any other co-author(s) an email confirming your submission. This is the only confirmation message one will receive, as the system does not automatically send one. 

Congratulations! Your project is submitted and you will be contacted after the Student Design Competition committee reviews all projects.


  • Semi-finalist teams win a trip for two members to travel to the RESNA Annual Conference and a free one-year membership to RESNA.
  • Students showcase their designs to an international audience at the conference, gaining access to contacts and connections to start a career in assistive technology.
  • Cash prizes and more awarded to top designs.
  • All entries are posted and promoted on a competition website and through social media. 

Cash Prizes

  • First place: $1,000
  • Second place: $700
  • Third Place: $300 

TREAT prize (Technology Most Likely to Become Commercially Available)

  • $500 and product development consultation 

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To visit the Student Design Competition's website archive and Read about our past winners, visit...

For questions about the Student Design Competition, contact the 2017 RESNA Conference Committee’s Student Design Committee Chair

For additional 2017 RESNA Conference questions, contact