Applications for Microsoft AI for Accessibility Program are now open to advance equitable access to assistive technology for people with disabilities, especially in low- and middle-income communities.
They accept applications from any country or region and this round is particularly focused on innovations that will empower people with disabilities outside of the US.
Areas of Focus
Empower your work through grants, investments of technology, and expertise. They work with partners in four important areas of focus:
- Education: Restricted educational opportunities and unmet classroom accommodations can exclude students with disabilities from many paths to advanced degrees and careers. AI is advancing tools for transcription, translation, and language understanding capabilities.
- Employment: The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 2-3 times higher than average and the recent shift to remote work has worsened this disability divide. Investing in inclusive datasets and tools can improve how AI technology is used in recruiting and spark inclusive economic recovery.
- Community: Connections are key to maintaining mental health and relationships with family and friends. Mental health is the largest disability segment and a growing concern during the pandemic. AI is modernizing ways to better maintain wellbeing and communicate across differences.
- Home: From transportation, to voice-powered interfaces, to tools that do not consider the disability experience – many aspects of daily life exclude people with disabilities. By investing in better use of inclusive data and affordable technology powered by AI, they can reimagine societal inclusion.
- Access to affordable devices
- Relevant and localized software
- Awareness, upskilling and community
In addition to Azure compute credits worth $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 (depending on your project scope and needs), these grants cover costs related to collecting or labeling data, developing models, or other engineering-related work. Applications are evaluated on their scientific merit, innovative use of AI technology, and potential for scalability.
They invite applications from developers, NGO’s, academics, researchers, and inventors to accelerate their work for people with disabilities. This is a global program: Grant applications from all countries are eligible.
For more information, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/ai-for-accessibility-grants