Project proposals that enhance equal access to assistive technology in low- and middle-income countries are being sought by the Microsoft AI for Accessibility program.
The Microsoft AI for Accessibility program has assisted innovators in maximizing AI’s potential to empower the more than one billion individuals with disabilities worldwide. Microsoft has released its first Request for Proposals (RFP) specifically to address the prospects connected to Low-Cost Assistive Technology, in addition to their current AI-powered projects.
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 may not be listed here.
- Theme 1: Locally relevant innovation
- Theme 2: Distribution and support
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: we will include you 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.
All types of organizations are encouraged to apply — they support startups, nonprofits, academic institutions and more.
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