Microsoft AI for Accessibility Programme

Microsoft AI for Accessibility Programme

The Microsoft AI for Accessibility programme is calling for project proposals that advance equitable access to assistive technology in low and middle-income countries. The application deadline is November 04, 2022.

About Microsoft AI for Accessibility Programme

The Microsoft AI for Accessibility has helped innovators harness the potential of AI to empower more than one billion people around the world with a disability. In addition to their existing AI-powered projects, Microsoft has opened its first Request for Proposals (RFP) specific to addressing the opportunities related to Low-Cost Assistive Technology.

In this Request for Proposals, they are prioritizing scalable solutions for the below two themes. They may also consider applications that address other aspects of access to assistive technologies that are not on this list below.

  • Theme 1: Locally relevant innovation
  • Theme 2: Distribution and support

Benefits of Microsoft Accessibility Innovation Programme

Over a 12-month period, you will be part of a vibrant community of grantees. You will receive support to accelerate and drive impact for your AI for Accessibility grant project.

  • Funding: The grants cover costs related to collecting or labelling data, developing models, or other engineering-related work.
  • Azure & Tech Consulting: They provide Azure compute credits worth $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 as well as Azure developer support and resources.
  • Community: You will be included in a supportive community of current grantees and alumni.
  • Mentoring: They provide a designated mentor based on your grant topic to help unlock the potential of your project.
  • Amplification: They give you access to a support platform to craft and share your grant project more widely.

Eligibility Requirements for Microsoft Accessibility Innovation Programme

All types of organizations are encouraged to apply whether you are startups, nonprofits, or academic institutions.

Selected projects will be invited to pitch ideas to a selection committee who will score projects on the following criteria:

  • Innovation: the uniqueness of the outcome or approach
  • Impact: the expected value and potential impact
  • Approach: feasibility and capability to complete the project in 12 months
  • Diversity: diversity of the research team and/or target audience along with a clear plan to reach the target audience
  • Community: evidence of disability community support and involvement
  • Sustainability: evidence of ability to sustain the project post-Microsoft funding/ partnership
  • Budget: allocation of funds to maximize impact
  • Cost: the cost of the solution to the end user

How to Apply for the Microsoft AI for Accessibility Programme

For more information about the programme, click here. To submit your application, click here.

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