Disability affects 1 in 5 people

Around 70% of people with disabilities
are out of work

Disability affects 11% more women than men

Empowering people with disabilities through mobile technologies

Nearly 1 in every 5 people will experience at some stage of their lives a disability or impairment. In most cases, this disability or impairment is or will become a determent to carry on daily routines or fully enjoy and access different aspects of their lives. Universal Accessibility implies a transversal approach to the living environment of people with disabilities and makes reference to the elimination of existing barriers from the daily life of these people. These barriers can be related to communication, social life, physical environment, access to public services and employment, and transportation among others.

Digital and mobile technologies have contributed in the recent years to the promotion of Design for All and Universal Accessibility by providing new and innovative concepts in the form of services and products. However, their potential has not been fully addressed as the common lack of consideration of cognitive accessibility during the design and set up of mobile and digital services and products shows. A lot more can be done in supporting and empowering people with disabilities to live more independently and have a more fulfilling life.

  • More details
More details

Why it matters

It has been estimated by the World Health Organization that 15-19% of the world population older than 15 years old have a moderate or severe disability, affecting between 785 and 975M of people. Overall, disability affects 11% more women than men and in addition to this, the responsibility of looking after family members with disabilities is mostly taken up by women, showing how gender considerations also matter when addressing the needs of people with disabilities and their supporting environments and networks.

People with disabilities are more affected by poverty, in part influenced by the difficulty to access education services and the labour market. The risk of poverty affects 32% of the population with disabilities in Spain, nearly 5% higher than the general population. Families also have to pay for supporting services, spending in average, 29-37% of their income in Australia and 20-37% in Ireland, representing an additional economic burden on the families.

Another study on employment carried by the United Nations showed that in developing countries, about 80-90% of people with disabilities are unemployed or outside the work force, being this percentage reduced to 50-70% in industrialized countries. In the case of Spain, unemployment affects 63% of people with disabilities that are within working age. The living, working and support conditions of people with disabilities have strongly worsen in Europe over the last few years due to the reduction of the public budgets allocated to these collectives.

In 2008, the Spanish Institute of Statistics calculated that 8,5% of the Spanish population had a disability. This implies 3.8M of people from which over 600,000 leave alone in their houses and 1.39M have a high degree of dependence and cannot do basic daily activities without support.

What we are looking for

This challenge aims to find truly disruptive and innovative solutions that can empower and have a positive impact in the lives of people with disabilities in aspects that can vary from access to education and the labour market, health and public services, or enjoyment of novel services that take into account areas so diverse as the management of emotions, or the safe access and use of mobile technologies by children with disabilities. By strengthening the role played by digital and mobile technologies and supporting the development of new and innovative services, barriers to access more personalised, financially accessible, and non-geographic bounded services can be overcome.






Share this challenge

Key dates

Submission deadline

7 March 2017

Results of Round One

22 March 2017

Results of Round Two

14 April 2017

Final results

16 May 2017




Aira is a visual interpreter for the blind. It is using Augmented Reality to literally augment a wide range of information. From exploring new neighborhoods and restaurants in the city, to traveling the globe – Aira empowers the blind to experience their world and surroundings like never before.
Country: USA


uSound is a Smart Audio System (uSound App + uSound Smart Earphones) that converts a Smartphone into a hearing assistance device. It has intelligence, medical and clinical knowledge embedded in it. It’s interactive and it can learn and grow from the person’s need.
Country: Argentina


Lazzus is an assistant that accompanies blind and visually impaired people as they move around, creating an auditory field of vision. It points out useful things around you, such as pedestrian crossings, street intersections, businesses, helping you to get around safely.
Country: Spain


Sesame developed the first-of-its-kind Touch-Free technology for smartphones and tablets, designed by and for people with disabilities. Using the front facing camera together with advanced Computer Vision algorithms, the user can operate the entire device by just movements of his head.
Country: Israel



Talkitt will enable people who suffer from motor, speech, and language disorders to easily communicate using their own voice, by translating the unintelligible pronunciation into understandable speech.
Country: Israel


BlindTouch is a complete product that allows visually impaired users full control over a fundamentally sighted technology, with a range of essential utilities to increase independence, connectivity and self-esteem.
Country: Israel


Irisbond’s webcam eye tracker is a system that allows the user to control the mouse cursor by the movement of their eyes,
using only a standard webcam instead of very complex and expensive devices.
Country: Spain


App&Town Compagnon is a system for people with mobility impairments, that allows to use public transport with precise guidance provided by a mobile App and a continuous monitoring of the user from a Control Center.
Country: Spain



Improving lives of deaf people. Visualfy App is translating smart phone sound events into flash-vibration patterns using the entire phone screen. Further, providing a truly inclusive App with accompanying installation and configuration instructions in sign language.
Country: Spain

Be My Eyes

A free mobile app that aims to make the world more accessible by helping the blind & visually impaired in situations where a pair of eyes is needed. Be My Eyes connects individuals in need of visual assistance with sighted volunteers via a video call on a
Country: Denmark


The Eyesynth System empowers the user with easy-to-use technology, providing rich spatial information through sounds. Special software algorithm converts 3-D information provided by cameras into understandable audio for the blind and visually impaired.
Country: Spain


Mouse4all is an accessibility solution that allows to use tablets and Android phones without touching the screen.
It increases the autonomy of people who use it, facilitating access to the Internet, social networks and applications of all kinds.
Country: Spain



Wayfindr enables people to navigate the world using audio instructions from their smart phones. Wayfindr provides digital navigation makers and owners of public spaces with the tools to provide people with consistent, high quality digital navigation services.
Country: UK

Blind Explorer

Blind Explorer provides a new
and innovative eyes/hands/mind-free 3D Sound Navigator Assistant for people with visual impairment, a personal guidance system that allows them autonomous and
safe movement in the outdoors, improving their mobility and
quality of life.
Country: Spain


Outbarries is born from a real need to help people with vision problems. The Outbarriers’s App (available for Android and iOS) is the most universal, practical and economic solution for people with severe vision problems.It works in the majority of nowadays Smartphones.
Country: Spain


Patented innovation Feelif is a multimedia device for blind and visually impaired people, consisting of touch screen device with a special app and a special relief grid.
With Feelif one can feel shapes, hear sounds, music, speech and see colors.
Country: Slovenia

Why to participate


Partnership Set Up

In order to make your proposal successful d-LAB will bring the necessary partners from different sectors on board to work together.


Pilot & Scale up

Pilot your solution in a real-life testing ground and prepare it to scale up and replicate the pilot at national and international level.


Visibility & Promotion

Gain great visibility throughout communication channels and get support in the dissemination of your project´s results. Be present at the Mobile World Congress!

How to participate


Learn about the challenge and see how you can contribute to solving it.


Send us your proposal by completing the online submission form. Deadline is 7 March 2017 at 5.00pm CET.


Your proposal will go through three rounds of evaluation and winner(s) will be selected by our international Advisory Committee.


Winners will be announced during a public event in May 2017. Winning proposal(s) will start implementation immediately.


  • Who can participate?
  • Can I submit an idea?
  • Can I submit my proposal in another language like Catalan or Spanish?
  • Is there any direct funding for the winning proposal(s)?
  • Who can I contact if I have any further questions?
  • Are there any Q&A sessions about this opportunity and the submission process in Barcelona?
  • Are there any online Q&A sessions about this opportunity and the submission process?
Who can participate?
We accept proposals from local, national and international legal organizations with a VAT number. There is no size or geographical restriction.
Can I submit an idea?
You can submit the idea only in case its implementation can start immediately and it is ready to be piloted. You should provide as many details as possible in the submission form.
Can I submit my proposal in another language like Catalan or Spanish?
This is an international Call for Proposals and therefore we can only accept submissions in English. The selection of the winners will be done by our international Advisory Committee.
Is there any direct funding for the winning proposal(s)?
We do not offer any direct funding to the winning proposal(s). However, we will contribute with indirect funding to six different areas of the pilot implementation as described in our Terms & Conditions.
Who can I contact if I have any further questions?
You can write to the d-LAB team on clopes@mobileworldcapital.com. We will get back to you as soon as possible from 9.30am to 6.30pm CET.
Are there any Q&A sessions about this opportunity and the submission process in Barcelona?
Yes. You can meet us in person on 14 February at 9.30am CET at the Espai Barcelona, MediaTic, Carrer Roc Boronat, 117, 08019 Barcelona. The session will be in Catalan and Spanish. Please register for the session & confirm your attendance.
Are there any online Q&A sessions about this opportunity and the submission process?
Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the two planned webinars in English and Spanish. If you would like to have a video conference call, please write to clopes@mobileworldcapital.com and we will set up one as soon as possible.