Vital mission: Hackathon for military veterans seeks volunteers
Do you have computer coding skills, knowledge of veterans’ legal issues—or maybe just the desire to help America’s vets (and maybe win a cash prize)? Tech for Justice and the ABA Techshow are putting out a call for your support.
Tech for Justice is staging a hackathon during Techshow week, from March 11-17, to develop mobile apps and online resources that help veterans overcome common challenges. Volunteers—including nonprofit advocates, legal aid organizations, lawyers, coders, students, activists, businesses, entrepreneurs, state and city representatives and court judges—may contact Christy Leos, before or during Techshow week. Leos is the director of operations at the InternetBar.org Institute, based in Houston.
Those interested in attending the hackathon may do it virtually, in the Hilton Chicago’s Salon B at 720 S, Michigan Avenue, or at Station Houston, 1301 Fannin Street, Suite 2440, in Houston.
“For hackathon judges,” Leos said by email, “we are looking for senior web developers/coders and lawyers with expertise in veteran’s legal issues.” The sign-up deadline for judges is Feb. 24. Volunteers should contact her by email.
Four prizes will be awarded at the end of the event. The first place team wins $5,500; second earns $2,500; third gets $1,500, with a $500 prize for fourth place.
Hackathon participants may join the event online through the week or onsite at the Hilton Chicago on March 16-17, and will focus on problem sets in three key areas:
Discharge status, including:
• Undesirable discharge characterizations.
• Veterans access to their VA Claims Folder (C-File) to determine VA benefits.
• Veterans deemed unemployable and Social Security disability benefits.
• Appealing clinical decisions.
Employment, treatment and life skills support, including:
• Military sexual trauma.
• Post-separation transition.
• Mobile technology for homeless veterans.
• Targeted financial/legal help for veterans facing imminent homelessness.
• Annual Point-in-Time homeless count.
• Veteran employment.
Effective access to justice, including:
• Veterans treatment courts.
• Self help online dispute resolution.
• Will preparation.
Sponsors and supporters for the hackathon include Westlaw, GitHub, ABA Techshow, the ABA Journal, Code Platoon and the InternetBar.org Institute.