Microsoft invites applications for the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence for Accessibility Grants in the USA in 2021.
AI for Accessibility grants support projects that use AI to empower people living with disabilities. Microsoft is looking for individuals or teams who are not only passionate about making the world more inclusive but also firmly rooted in the communities they intend to benefit from. It wants to invest in ideas that are developed by or with people with disabilities.
Microsoft works with partners in four important areas of focus:
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.
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 an inclusive economic recovery.
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.
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, we can reimagine societal inclusion.
Worth of Award
- 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.
- Applications from developers, NGOs, academics, researchers, and inventors to accelerate their work for people with disabilities are invited.
- The Microsoft Artificial Intelligence for Accessibility Grants is a global program: Grant applications from all countries are eligible.
How to Apply
All applications should be made online via the official website and your project proposal should describe the accessibility challenge addressed, the technical solution proposed, and its potential impact on people with disabilities.
Deadline: Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and they are reviewed a few times a year. The next deadlines are:
- Employment: July 30, 2021, 11:59 PM Pacific Time
- Low-Cost Assistive Technology (AT): December 17, 2021, 11:59 PM Pacific Time