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Cambridge Rare Disease Network - RAREfest | RAREsolutions competition 1


poster competition 

A competition with a Conscience – Creating innovate solutions to help people with rare conditions live more independent lives

RAREsolutions Poster competion is now closed.

But it will be back again later in 2019, please 
Keep checking back.


RAREsolutions is a competition with a conscience designed to educate, engage and empower: breaking down myths about rare disease; teaching about science; meeting RAREpeople; seeing and creating amazing ways in which technology and engineering can make things possible.

RAREsolutions is a new and exciting competition launched by the Cambridge Rare Disease Network as part of its RAREfest18 event.
A two-day, free, public festival celebrating and raising awareness about rare disease by having fun with science, technology, research and the arts.

Contestants from around Cambridgeshire and the UK take part armed with new knowledge and understanding about rare disease, their own creative ideas, and a helping hand from our RAREambassadors, scientists and inclusive designers.

Life can throw up all sorts of accessibility challenges for those living with sensory and physical disabilities. You will be presented with design challenges by  RAREambassadors, people who want to live life to the full  but are finding their environment makes it harder for them to do things independently. Watch the challenge films then choose your challenge. You can work as a team or independently to create a solution and present this on our poster template. 


The result? You could possibly change someone’s life, and definitely enrich your own. Walk in someone else’s shoes, show off your STEM skills, develop your skills and confidence in project-based work.

Watch the challenge videos below

 Vaila and Vivek invite you to watch their RAREsolutions challenge films. Help Vaila design a piece of playground equipment, help Vivek greet someone without running over their toes or design a safe way to push a trolley when hands are taken up with a cane or guide dog … take a look and let your imagination run wild


Vaila, an architect, and her children show you round their village playground. Can you help make playtime more fun and accessible for both of them and other kids? Find out more about Eilidh’s rare condition at http://www.kat6a.org/ and use this to guide you in your poster.

Vivek introduces you to his dilemma  – if he takes his hand off his powerchair controls to greet someone, he risks running over their toes. Can you help him find a safe solution to shaking hands? Find out more about the charity Vivek is an ambassador for and about muscular dystrophy at https://www.musclehelp.com/ and use this to guide your design.

Harsha and Elin from Cambridge Goalball team present their challenge  – how do they push a trolley at an airport or similar when holding a cane of their guide dog in one hand? Can you help them find a safe solution to their dilemma? Find out more about Retina Blastoma at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/retinoblastoma/ for more insight to guide your design.


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It’s open to all UK residents in full-time education or training (year group 7-13 and Scottish/NI equivalent).


Select the challenge you’d like to create a solution for and create your entry on the poster template provided. Submit dates for 2019 coming soon.


A winner will be selected from each age group – Junior, Intermediate & Senior.

The overall winner will take the coveted title of Jonathan Milner’s RAREsolutions designer of the Year 2019 and will have an opportunity to pitch their idea to a VIP reception at the  #RAREfest20 exhibition to Cambridge’s biggest names in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and the rare disease community.  

RAREsolutions competition closes in...








LIVE LOCALLY? We can come to your school…

If you’re a Cambridgeshire or neighbouring county school we can come and deliver a lesson for you. 

We’ll introduce you to the world of rare disease and to one of our RAREambassadors who has set a challenge. They will personally talk you through their condition and pose the competition challenge – something they need you to help them create a solution to. We’ll show you all of the challenge films and some short clips to inspire you of amazing tech and engineering solutions to everyday accessibility problems – from tech giants like Microsoft to a teenager like you creating a tech solution miracle from his bedroom.

These sessions will take place in late Sept and early Oct 2018. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and see some videos of amazing tech and engineering solutions people have found to help people with disabilities lead more independent lives.
Get in touch
and we’ll arrange a date and time.

Don’t KNOW about Rare Disease? You’d be surprised!

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge that swept the world? Where celebrities Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Cruise had a bucket of ice tipped over their heads for a charity? Well, that was about ALS, a rare neurological disease which the late cosmologist Prof Stephen Hawking lived with. Or perhaps you’ve seen actress Liz Carr in Silent Witness? Did you know she has a rare disease called Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita or AMC and has been a wheelchair user since the age of 7?

Rare Diseases are rare – there are some people living in the UK who are the only one with their condition.

Yet they’re also strangely common…

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When you have a rare disease, things can be tricky. Whilst some have fewer physical symptoms, others can be devastatingly disabling. Stephen Hawking’s motor neurone disease was diagnosed at 21 and he was given 2 years to live. It gradually paralysed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was still able to communicate through a , initially through use of a hand-held switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle. He went on to live a full and active life only recently passing away at the age of 76.

People and companies around the world are helping to create accessibility and inclusive solutions to everyday problems to help people live more independent lives.

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Check out these creative solutions  & the stories & people behind them for inspiration…

Read about Microsoft’s Soundscape App which supports people with low vision and blindness and watch the film about how this inclusive app came to be created.
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And watch the news report about Shubham’s Lego braille printer for those who are blind or have low sight.
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