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Sunday, December 4, 2022

APPLY: 2022 Microsoft AI for Accessibility Program Support for Developers

AI for Accessibility is a call to action for developers, NGO’s, academics, researchers, and inventors to accelerate their work by and with people with disabilities.

Microsoft Provides Azure compute credits worth $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 as well as Azure developer support and resources. The use of AI is optional and not a requirement for the 2022 Accessibility Program.

Organizations of all types from around the globe are encouraged to submit applications with a focus on innovations that will empower people with disabilities outside of the United States in low- and middle-income nations, particularly Africa.

Several other scholarships are available in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada that offers full scholarships and monthly allowances. Here are some suggestions you should check out;

  • Host: Microsoft
  • Category: Internships | Training | Fellowships
  • Eligible Countries: All Countries
  • Reward: $10,000 – $20,000 Grants
    • Funding
    • Support
    • Mentorship
  • Deadline: November 4, 2022
  • Scholarship Alerts: To receive Scholarship Alerts on WhatsApp, Click HERE

Details:

Microsoft is giving the following two themes its top priority in this request for proposals for scalable solutions. Microsoft may also take into account applications that deal with other assistive technology access-related issues that aren’t necessarily covered here.

Theme 1: Locally relevant innovation

Applicants are encourage to consider the following while working on this theme

  • How can we create cost-effective, functional, and user-friendly devices and software that specifically account for the unique needs and circumstances of people with disabilities in a region?
  • How can we reduce the price of existing assistive technology? This could include hardware optimization, software optimization or other aspects in the supply chain.
  • How can we expand access to current well-established products through localization, better onboarding support, or UI/UX design customizations to make it simpler for everyone to use?
  • How can we empower local organizations, non-profits, and people with disabilities to manufacture low-cost assistive technologies using a repository of open-source designs and specifications and training content?

Theme 2: Distribution and support

Applicants are encourage to consider the following while working on this theme

  • How can we develop a tech-powered system that can help people with disabilities find the most relevant assistive technology that accounts for their past experience with technology and personal circumstances? How can we facilitate a “try before you buy” model where users can try products for a while before purchasing them? How can technology enable it to scale?
  • How can people with disabilities connect with entrepreneurs, innovators, or assistive technology providers in general to provide them with feedback and test and purchase products, thereby accelerating the innovation ecosystem? Similarly, how can we promote a community of AT users, professionals and experts that can help with onboarding, set-up, and questions around product use?
  • How can existing distribution schemes and programs be improved and expanded using technology? How can data flow back to governments and international organizations to further improve and inform policies?
  • How can we address the challenges associated with maintenance, upgrades, and distribution given the fragmented disability community and lack of awareness both within the community and mainstream vendors? What role can technology play in doing so?

 

 

 

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Requirements:

To be considered for the AI Program, you must:

  • Be a developer, NGO, academics, researcher, and inventors
  • Have an Innovation with the uniqueness of the outcome or approach
  • Have a project that’s achievable within 12 months

You can connect with someone in your community who can support you and work with you on an application if you are concerned that you do not meet all of the requirements.

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Duration and Reward

  • The Program lasts over a 12-month period
  • Applicants will receive support to accelerate and drive impact for your AI for Accessibility grant project
  • Grants that cover costs related to collecting or labelling data, developing models, or other engineering-related work
  • Azure compute credits worth $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 as well as Azure developer support and resources.
  • Designated mentor based on your grant topic to help unlock the potential of your project

Required Documents

To apply, candidates must be ready to submit the following documents;

  • Application Form (to be completed online)
  • Project Proposal

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Method of Application

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

Interested and qualified candidates should apply using the link below

Deadline: November 4, 2022

Visit HERE to check out many more Scholarship opportunities.

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