32 / 100 SEO Score
logo for RAREsolutions20

RAREsolutions is an exciting poster design competition launched by the Cambridge Rare Disease Network as part of its RAREfest20 online festival. A free, virtual public festival, celebrating and raising awareness about rare disease by having fun with science, technology, research and the arts. 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.

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.


Walk in someone else’s shoes, show off your STEM skills, develop your skills and confidence in project-based work.

Contestants from around Cambridgeshire, the UK and worldwide can 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. 

Watch the challenge films (below) 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.

Watch the challenge videos

RAREambassadors Eilidh, Elin and Harsha invite you to watch their RAREsolutions challenge films.

Design a piece of inclusive playground equipment for Eilidh and her community to enjoy together.
Or help Elin and Harsha by designing a safe way to push a trolley when hands are taken up with a cane or guide dog.

Vaila, an architect, and her children Eilidh and Elliot 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 and use this to guide you in your poster.

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  for more insight to guide your design.

Let your IMAGINATION run wild…



It’s open to all students in full-time education or training (UK 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 by Monday 9th November 2020.


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

CRDN RareSolutions Exhibition powepoint presentation

The overall winner of the RAREsolutions competion will take the coveted title of Jonathan Milner’s RAREsolutions designer of the Year 2020 and will have an opportunity to pitch their idea live during RAREfest20 online to Cambridge’s biggest names in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and the rare disease community.  

Twiddling your thumbs at home during lock down?
OR, Looking for something purposeful and unique to do?

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.

Take a look at the challenge films and some short clips  of amazing tech and engineering solutions to everyday accessibility problems to inspire you – from tech giants Microsoft and a teenager like you creating a tech solution miracle from his bedroom.

If your class or school would like to do a live Q&A with us then please get in touch and see what we can do to 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?

How about Venus Williams, Missy Elliott and Warwick Davis shown opposite? Can you discover which rare conditions they have?

Rare Diseases are rare – there are some people who are the only one in the world know to have their condition.

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - RAREfest20 | RAREsolutions competition 1

Yet they’re also strangely common…

There are over 8000 different rare diseases so added together there are over 3 million people affected in the UK, 35 million across Europe and 350 million worldwide living with a rare condition at some point in their life and many of those affected are children.

Graphic containing a fact about rare diseases

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, 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 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.

Graphic containing a fact about rare diseases
Graphic containing a fact about rare diseases
Graphic containing a fact about rare diseases

Check out these creative solutions & the stories & people behind them to give you inspiration for your design…

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.
Cambridge Rare Disease Network - RAREfest20 | RAREsolutions competition 2
And watch the news report about Shubham’s Lego braille printer for those who are blind or have low sight.
Cambridge Rare Disease Network - RAREfest20 | RAREsolutions competition 3
WP Feedback

Dive straight into the feedback!
Login below and you can start commenting using your own user instantly

CRDN sign up to newsletter

Sign up to our monthly newsletter packed with news & events. Join our thriving rare disease community.


You have Successfully Subscribed!