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Microsoft to Empower People With Disabilities
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Microsoft to Empower People With Disabilities

Microsoft had a big announcement this month. The tech giant finally announced to the world its AI for Accessibility program. The new AI (artificial intelligence) program has been designed specifically to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

As part of its AI for Accessibility program, the software giant has also pledged $25 million in funding. The funding will help developers, universities, and nongovernmental organizations in their AI-fueled solutions. More importantly, it will allow developers and organizations to integrate more accessibility features and functionalities to their own products.

About the newly launched AI for Accessibility program

As posted on the company's blog post, the new AI program will follow the blueprint of the company’s previous AI program, which was introduced last year. Initially, the AI program will start with a new $2 million grant, and then later, Microsoft will increase the funding to $25 million.

The software company plans to provide funding and technical resources to developers, non-governmental organizations, and universities. The goal is to help people with disabilities deal with challenges in three important areas: the limited mobility life, human connection, and workplace.

The AI for Accessibility program will be run by the company’s own accessibility team, which makes tools for developers interested in developing AI solutions. Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie will be leading the company’s AI for Accessibility program.

Some of the great examples of AI solutions include a mobile app that uses computer vision to help blind people and learning tools that help children with disabilities.

This is not the first time Microsoft has announced a major AI program. Last year, Microsoft introduced to the tech world its AI for Earth program, the company's five-year plan to support the development of AI solutions that will help address climate change. Microsoft has also pledged $50 million as part of its AI for Earth program.


Image credit: Ben Franske/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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