Microsoft Accessibility in partnership with Philanthropies Tech for Social Impact (TSI) has launched the Accessibility Nonprofit Tech Accelerator (NTA) 2023 Grant round to help organizations use technology to advance equity and accessibility for people with disabilities globally.
Goals of the Accessibility Nonprofit Technology Accelerator 2023 Grant Round include:
- Create a space for global nonprofit organizations to implement data and technology focused projects to advance their mission and support how people with disabilities can equitably work, learn, and live
- Increase organizational capacity and digital maturity with access to technology resources
- Enhance the technological and data capacity of nonprofit organizations focused on promoting disability equity; and
- Disseminate innovative practices and lessons learned during implementation to other places.
- Advance disability equity and access in at least one of the Microsoft Accessibility team Initiative areas of focus—
- Accessible Technology: Spurring the development of more accessible technology across their industry and the economy.
- Workforce: using this technology to create opportunities for more people with disabilities to enter the workforce.
- Workplace: building a workplace that is more inclusive for people with disabilities.
- Projects that contribute to closing the disability divide through programming initiatives that serve people with disabilities
- Incorporate data and technology
- Initiatives must align with the social model of disability
Those selected to participate in the Accessibility Nonprofit Tech Accelerator will benefit from:
- $10,000 Organization Grant Award;
- 6-month Technical Support with Dedicated CSM for your organization;
- Light touch expert technical assistance on data, policy, and engagement from Microsoft Accessibility Team and TSI as needed to support your project;
- Access to Microsoft technology for nonprofits and related support as needed;
- Elevation of your work through public-facing communications such as blogs, webinars, or conference panels.
- For select identified projects, additional grant funding for technical partner implementation costs.
Accessibility NTA Grantees will be Expected
- Commit to participate in the Accessibility NTA Program and advance their proposed project over the six-month project period;
- Engage with the Accessibility NTA team through periodic calls and email communications as they monitor efforts to disseminate lessons to the broader cohort;
- Engage with accessibility and TSI team on developing technology that is accessible to people with disabilities;
- Submit a final narrative report at the conclusion of the project period;
- Develop a plan about how they will follow ethical standards in using data and technology, including responsibly protecting individuals and data as appropriate for the proposed activities and data sources and identifying and receiving approval for research activities from an Institutional Review Board if needed; and
- If using Microsoft technology, engage as needed with available in-kind expert assistance regarding software benefits, activation and setup, training and technical support; and participate in initial assessment around project requirements and partner engagement models.
- Lead Applicant Organization
- They are seeking lead organizations with demonstrated relationships and connections to the disability community. They recognize that including people with disabilities in programs that serve the community is vital. They have a focus on partnering with organizations that reflect these communities by having people with disabilities in staff leadership positions and trusted relationships with the disability community. Disability-led organizations are strongly encouraged to apply. They also encourage small community-based organizations to apply. Organizations may submit only one application.
- Microsoft’s nonprofit grants and discounts are specifically for eligible organizations. To qualify for the granted offers, all organizations must meet the following qualifications:
- An international nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).
- U.S. Organizations: hold recognized, legal 501c3 charitable status as defined under the United States Internal Revenue Code.
- Nonprofit that is serving the Accessibility and/or the Disability Community.
- Organizations that received a 2022 Pilot Accessibility NTA Grant are eligible to be lead applicants in the 2023 Accessibility NTA Grant Round.
- Organizations may include a partner outside of the organization to be included in the application as a collaborator.
- Operate on a not-for-profit basis.
- Have a mission to benefit the broader community.
- Attest to Microsoft’s anti-discrimination policy.
- Only assign licenses to eligible staff.
- Only use the licenses for their organization and not license partner, affiliate, or sister organizations.
- Organizations must not hold an active 14c certificate of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Must not be classified as one of the following:
- Governmental organizations or agencies, including governmental museums, international governmental organizations, and United Nations Entities.
- Schools, colleges, and universities including formal educational institutions, nonprofit schools, and academic museums.
- Healthcare organizations including, but not limited to, hospitals, healthcare networks, health plans, and ambulatory/outpatient healthcare organizations.
- Public Utilities, including public transportation, telecommunications, and utilities.
- Financial institutions, including banks, insurance providers, and pension and retirement funds.
- Professional, commerce and trade associations.
- Professional and semi-professional sports organizations, including governing bodies, Olympics, and national or international tournaments.
- Political, labor, and fraternal organizations.
- Refurbishers that will be installing the software on refurbished computers to be distributed or donated to nonprofits or schools.
- Partnering Groups or Individuals
- A partner is any group or individual outside of the lead applicant organization that is providing personnel or expertise necessary to key project tasks or deliverables, whether paid or unpaid.
- All partner groups or individuals playing key roles in the activities must be identified at the time of the application.
- As part of the application, you must provide a letter of support from partner groups, whether organizations or individuals, that confirms their participation consistent with their role in the proposal. If there are multiple partners, they can provide one letter together with multiple signatures if more convenient, as long as the letter outlines the roles for each group or person.
- Local or state governments can be partners in proposed projects but cannot receive funds. They still must provide a letter of support if playing key roles in the activities proposed.
- Organizations eligible to be a partner and receive funds include:
- Local nonprofits, with or without 501(c)(3) status (including current Microsoft grantees)
- National or global nonprofit organizations
- Colleges or universities (public or nonprofit)
- For-profit organizations
Expectations of Awardees
- The intention of the Accessibility NTA Program is to advance disability equity and increase accessibility using technology and data. They also seek to increase nonprofit organizations’ technological and data capacity through technical assistance, peer learning opportunities, and financial support.
For more information, visit Microsoft Accessibility.