The following blog post was written by David Dzumba - Accessibility program manager at Microsoft. He has worked in this area of the technology sector for more than 16 years.

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The explosive growth of app development for mobile phones has been particularly helpful to blind and low-vision users. Today, apps enable a mobile phone to read money or text out loud, identify colors, and do a lot more.

Now our friends at Nokia are building on that growth with a new contest called the Do Good Mission that calls for apps that will enhance the lives and mobile experiences of visually- impaired people.

The Do Good Mission is actually one of eight contests within Nokia Create, a competition that encourages development of a wide range of apps for Windows Phone 8 and Nokia Lumia. Check out this video for more information:  Nokia Create: Do Good Mission.

The requirements for the Do Good Mission are straightforward. You can enter simple apps, such as a vibration-feedback compass, or more complex apps, perhaps one that would provide audio description of the view from a Nokia Lumia camera. The apps can fall under any of these categories:

  • Image and Photo
  • Near Field Communication
  • Maps and Places
  • Music
  • Cross-8
  • Fun and Games
  • Work Life
  • Freestyle
  • Nokia Lumia Devices
  • Remote Device Access

Entries are due by Dec. 15, 2013. Developers can submit new apps or apps adapted from other platforms. Contestants can also submit apps that they update to make more accessible for people with limited vision. Nokia teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to sponsor the Do Good Mission. For more information please visit these resources: