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U.S. DOT Inclusive Design Challenge Media Toolkit

Instructions for Use

The U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge seeks new ideas for creating inclusive design solutions to both create and enable accessible automated vehicles. The U.S. DOT thanks you for your support of this important initiative and encourages you to use the materials in this toolkit to celebrate the semifinalists, share Challenge updates with your networks, and advance the conversation on accessibility.

This toolkit includes: 

  • Contact information 
  • Overview of the Challenge
  • Graphics (high-resolution files with alternate text) 
  • Sample social media posts
  • Sample pitch for local news media

Contact Information:
Website: https://www.transportation.gov/accessibility/inclusivedesign

Media Contact:
Nancy Wilochka
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
Phone: 202-366-5128
Email: Nancy.Wilochka@dot.gov

Technical Contact:
Ariel Gold
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Phone: 202-366-4374
Email: ariel.gold@dot.gov

Overview of the Inclusive Design Challenge

The Inclusive Design Challenge asks researchers and innovators to develop solutions to create and enable accessible automated vehicles, solving our most pressing access barriers for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. Design teams from academic and research institutions, the business sector, technology companies, and analytics firms were invited to compete for cash prizes through a two-stage Challenge. Proposals included both hardware and software solutions aimed at addressing transportation barriers.

The total prize purse for the Challenge is $5,000,000. In January 2021, ten semifinalist teams were awarded $300,000 each based on their proof-of-concept ideas. In Stage II, semifinalists will compete for a portion of the remaining prize purse by developing prototype demonstrations of their concepts. U.S. DOT anticipates awarding Stage II prizes in summer 2022. Information on the Challenge is available at: https://www.transportation.gov/accessibility/inclusivedesign.

Graphics

To download graphics, click on the heading above each image. Please use the provided alternative text when posting these graphics on social media.

Inclusive Design Challenge Logo

Logo for the U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge featuring symbols for automated vehicles and the disability community
Logo for the U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge featuring symbols for automated vehicles and the disability community.

Inclusive Design Challenge Graphic—Vertical Orientation

Image for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which is looking for physical, sensory, and cognitive design solutions

Image for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which is looking for physical, sensory, and cognitive design solutions.

Inclusive Design Challenge - Social Media Graphic 1

Image for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which is looking for physical, sensory, and cognitive design solutions
Image for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which is looking for physical, sensory, and cognitive design solutions.

Social Media Graphic 2

Image for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which is looking for physical, sensory, and cognitive design solutions
Image for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which is looking for physical, sensory, and cognitive design solutions.

Social Media Graphic 3

Graphic for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge stating “I Love Accessibility” with “Love” represented by a red heart
Graphic for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge stating “I Love Accessibility” with “Love” represented by a red heart.

Sample Social Media Posts

Twitter

General
The @USDOT announced 10 semifinalists for its Inclusive Design Challenge, which seeks solutions to make automated vehicles accessible for all. Learn more about the semifinalists and stay updated on the Challenge: https://www.transportation.gov/accessibility/inclusivedesign

Semifinalist Specific
My [Company/Organization] is excited to be a semifinalist for @USDOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which seeks solutions to make automated vehicles accessible for all! Our project focuses on (insert description). Learn more about all of the semifinalists and stay updated on the Challenge: https://www.transportation.gov/accessibility/inclusivedesign 

Tip: Use a URL shortener like Bitly.com to streamline your URL.

LinkedIn

General
The U.S. DOT announced the 10 semifinalists for its Inclusive Design Challenge, which seeks solutions to make automated vehicles accessible for all! The Challenge invited design teams from academic and research institutions, the business sector, technology companies, and analytics firms to develop solutions to our most pressing access barriers for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. Learn more about all of the semifinalists and stay updated on the Challenge: https://www.transportation.gov/accessibility/inclusivedesign

Semifinalist Specific
My [Company/Organization] is excited to be a semifinalist for U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, which seeks solutions to make automated vehicles accessible for all! Our team’s award-winning proposal includes [describe proposal in 1-2 sentences]. Our proposal was selected as one of 10 semifinalists in this national competition and will receive a $300,000 cash prize. Learn more about all of the semifinalists and stay updated on the Challenge: https://www.transportation.gov/accessibility/inclusivedesign

Sample Pitch for Local News Media

Subject: Pitch: Local [Company/Organization] awarded $300,000 cash prize from U.S. DOT for idea to increase automated vehicle accessibility

Dear [Name],
I am excited to share that my [Company/Organization] has been awarded a $300,000 cash prize from the U.S. DOT for our proposal to develop an accessible design solution for automated vehicles as part of the U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge.

The Challenge asks researchers and innovators to develop solutions to the most pressing access barriers for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. Our team’s award-winning proposal includes [describe proposal in 1-2 sentences]. Our proposal was selected as one of ten semifinalists in this national competition and received a $300,000 cash prize for this accomplishment. The Challenge consists of two stages, and in Stage II, our team will compete for the remaining portion of a $5 million prize purse by developing prototype demonstrations of our concept.

I would like to connect you to our team to share more information on our award-winning proposal, the U.S. DOT’s Inclusive Design Challenge, and our team’s vision for the future of accessible automated vehicles. 

[Signature]
 

Last updated: Thursday, April 1, 2021