AI for Accessibility grants

Empower your work through grants, investments of technology, and expertise. We work with partners in four important areas of focus:

Program details


AI for Accessibility grants support projects that use AI to empower people living with disabilities. We are 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. We want to invest in ideas that are developed by or with people with disabilities.


Applications are evaluated on their scientific merit, innovative use of AI technology, and potential for scalability.

The grantee experience and benefits


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.

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Our grants cover costs related to collecting or labelling data, developing models, or other engineering-related work.

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Azure & Tech Consulting

We provide Azure compute credits worth $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 as well as Azure developer support and resources.

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You will be included in a supportive community of current grantees and alumni.

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We provide a designated mentor based on your grant topic to help unlock the potential of your project.

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We give you access to a support platform to craft and share your grant project more widely.

How do I apply for a grant?


Submit your project proposal via the online application form.


  • 2022 award rounds are now closed. Please check our website from spring 2023 for further announcements.


We 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.


If you are worried about not meeting all requirements, please connect to someone in your community who can support you and partner on an application.


Review the proposal requirements document. Your project proposal should describe the accessibility challenge addressed, the technical solution proposed, and its potential impact on people with disabilities. Please follow the application form and be as specific as possible.

Start your grant application

Review these proposal requirements and explore our existing grantee projects for examples that we have previously supported.

Review requirements (DOC) Apply for a grant now



AI for Accessibility grant applications are reviewed by Microsoft employees who are directly involved in the AI for Accessibility grant selection process for the sole purpose of proposal review and to determine the grant level to be provided. Projects should be developed with or by people with disabilities. Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Relevance: AI and/or machine learning are core to the project success.
  • Impact: Your project clearly elevates education, employment, community, or home outcomes for someone with a disability.
  • Data: Your team is open to sharing privacy compliant data for future innovation.
  • Feasible: The project is achievable within a one-year timeframe. This could be phase 1 of your project, but there should be tangible deliverables completed each quarter that are wrapped up in 12 months.
  • Capable: Your team should have the knowledge and skill to deliver the idea, or you should have a plan to partner with someone who can fill in any gaps.
  • Sustainable: The project has room to grow beyond the first year of funding.
  • Showcase-able: We want to talk about whatever you deliver!

To estimate the monetary value of Azure computing resources you need, use the Azure calculator. For example, if your plan requires 100,000 Cognitive Services Computer Vision transactions, you will need $100 per month for 12 months, totaling $1,200 in Azure credits for the one-year grant period.

After each application deadline, applicants typically receive a decision by email within 90 days. Select projects are invited to pitch their ideas to a selection committee who will score their projects based on the evaluation criteria. Once projects are selected, part of the award process is aligning on project OKRs and scope which are tracked and reported throughout the 12-months grant period. The project work starts with the official Kickoff Meeting with the AI for Accessibility team.

Yes. This award program is available worldwide.

All IP including background and foreground is solely owned by AI4A grantees. However, we do encourage all our grantees to contribute to and collaborate on open datasets related to your solution.

Please make sure to review the criteria and apply for a grant and we will get back to you.

There are no official restrictions for indirect costs. However, we do our best to ensure that we maximize the amount of cash that goes directly towards engineering, research, or data collection costs. For most universities, this means the cash is a gift to the university, but we also sign a collaboration agreement to ensure we are all on the same page with expectations and deliverables.

If you have questions about the awards program or the application process not answered in this FAQ, please email us at