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FW: Microsoft announces international accessibility grant program

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 13:02:24 -0800
To: "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD88301E67C65@SJ_EXCHANGE>
Cynthia D. Waddell
Cynthia D. Waddell   Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us
ADA Coordinator       City of San Jose, CA

801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, California 95110-1704
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX

> ----------
> From: 	Jamal Mazrui
> Reply To: 	uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu
> Sent: 	Thursday, December 3, 1998 12:48 PM
> To: 	uaccess-l@tracecenter.org; telecom-l@tracecenter.org;
> program-l@LISTSERV.NAS.NET
> Subject: 	Microsoft announces international accessibility grant
> program
> >From the web page 
> http://microsoft.com/presspass/features/12-3access.htm
>      Microsoft to Award $250,000 in Grants to Non-Profit and
>       Educational Institutions Researching PC Accessibility
> REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 3, 1998  - Whether they write code or use a
> PC to draft their church newsletter, few people would disagree
> that computer technology evolves at break-neck speed. This pace
> of change means that new products and technologies are
> constantly finding their way into our lives at work, home and
> school. For people with disabilities, however, new technologies
> too often are out of reach unless they are retrofitted to
> function with existing software and accessibility aids.
> Microsoft's Accessibility and Disabilities Group, in concert
> with Microsoft Community Affairs, has created an international
> accessibility grant program designed to attack this problem. The
> program, "Exploring PC Accessibility: New Discoveries," was
> announced this week in conjunction with the United Nation's
> International Day of Disabled Persons. It will support
> non-profit research and product development to increase
> accessibility of PC technologies for people with disabilities.
> "There is a compelling need for Microsoft and the PC industry to
> anticipate how evolving technology can be made accessible," said
> Greg Lowney, director of accessibility for Microsoft. "Microsoft
> is committed to building accessible products and fostering
> innovation in accessibility across the industry. We believe that
> the research initiatives supported by this grant will have
> near-term benefits for computer users with disabilities."
> One-year grants of $10,000 and $50,000 will be awarded to
> non-profit and educational institutions for exploration of
> technology concepts and actual research and development. A total
> of $250,000 will be awarded in 1999 through the program.
> Applications for Exploring PC Accessibility: New Discoveries
> grants must be submitted on or before Feb. 12, 1999. Information
> about the grant program and application process can be obtained
> from Microsoft's accessibility Web site. Award winners will be
> announced March 16 at the Technology and Persons with
> Disabilities Conference, hosted by California State University,
> Northridge, in Los Angeles.
> (c)1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
> ----------
> Microsoft Corporation         Tel 425 882 8080
> One Microsoft Way        Fax 425 936 7329
> Redmond, WA  98052-6399  www.microsoft.com
> Exploring PC Accessibility: New Discoveries
> Overview:
> The Microsoft Corporation is pleased to announce a new
> international initiative to support the research and development
> of innovative concepts and products that will contribute to
> increased accessibility to PC technology for individuals with
> disabilities.  This program will provide one-year grants of up to
> $50,000 to educational or not-for-profit organizations that are
> developing accessibility products that will be made available to
> the public.  Applicants also may apply for one-year grants of
> $10,000 to support research on an accessibility concept. 
> Microsoft software will be donated in addition to the cash grants
> in support of the proposed project.  Proposals are due on or
> before February 12, 1999.  Awards will be announced at the
> "Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference" (aka CSUN)
> to be held in Los Angeles, California 16-20 March 1999.
> Background:
> Microsoft is committed to supporting the development of hardware
> and software that is fully accessible to individuals with
> disabilities and enables them to use the latest technology at
> work, at school and at home.  The company is doing this by
> building accessibility options into its operating systems (e.g.
> Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0) and including features specifically
> for individuals with disabilities in its software applications
> (e.g. captioning in Encarta '98). In addition, Microsoft is
> creating technology that can be used by software developers to
> make their products more accessible (e.g. Microsoft Active
> Accessibility MSAA).
> Despite the commitment on the part of Microsoft and other
> companies, individuals with disabilities do not have equal access
> to PC (and related) technology. They can not automatically use
> state-of-the-art technology because access to technology is not
> built into these products; rather, adaptive hardware and software
> is typically retrofitted to PC products to allow their use by
> individuals with disabilities.  Given the unrelenting speed of 
> technological evolution, the disabled community is continually in
> the position of playing "catch up" instead of being able to take
> advantage of technological innovations as they occur.  The delays
> they encounter can have profound effects, including lost jobs and
> an inability to keep up with school classmates.
> In spite of the efforts already being made, there is a compelling
> need for those working on accessibility issues to look to the
> future and work to anticipate how evolving technology can be made
> accessible rather than reacting to advances that have already
> been made.  There is a need to ensure that individuals with
> disabilities will be able to benefit from the same advances in PC
> technology at the same time as other users. For example:
>     What implications will "hands-free, eyes-free" interfaces
> have for individuals with disabilities? 
>     What complications will "mobile computing" and "handheld"
> computers have for individuals who have physical disabilities? 
>     Will the integration of telecommunications, the Web and PC
> technology present access problems for individuals who are
> deaf/hard-of-hearing or instead, will it present marvelous new
> opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be integrated
> into the mainstream? 
>     What problems will the increased use of sound, animation and
> agents present for individuals with disabilities? 
>     What will a Web-based lifestyle mean for an individual
> dependent upon environmental control?   
> The challenge that presents itself is, how can these barriers be
> anticipated and these problems solved prior to the introduction
> of innovative products?  How can accessible hardware and software
> stay current with technological innovation so that individuals
> with disabilities are given the same opportunities to enjoy and
> benefit from these innovations as other users?
> Program Goals:
> To support innovative research and/or product development to
> advance the ways in which computer technology can assist
> individuals with disabilities in their work, school and
> recreational activities.  To share the results of this work with
> the broadest possible audience to maximize its impact.
> Program Objectives:
>     Advance research and product development targeted to
> increasing the accessibility of PC technology for individuals
> with disabilities;
>     Increase the knowledge-base of all groups dedicated to
> improving accessibility of PC technology;
>     Facilitate the dissemination of new accessibility concepts
> and products;
>     Provide an opportunity for the accessibility field to share
> new thinking.
> Eligibility Requirements
> Grant proposals will be accepted from local, national or
> international nonprofit or educational institutions.  United
> States-based applicants must be nonprofit and tax-exempt under
> Section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.  Organizations
> located outside the United States must possess charitable status
> in their country.
> Review Criteria
> Applicants will be evaluated on the following basis:
>     How well the proposed research or concept-development
> project meets Microsoft's program objectives;
>     Demonstrated commitment to field of accessibility as
> evidenced by previous work;
>     How well the project utilizes PC or hand-held PC platforms
> (Windows 98/NT or CE only);
>     How well project documents relate to the specific needs of
> individuals with disabilities to use a PC to be more independent
> and employable.
> How to Apply
> Proposals should be submitted to the address below at Microsoft
> on or before February 12, 1999.  Applications must be in English.
> If you have questions during the preparation of your proposal,
> send e-mail to, NewDisco@Microsoft.com.
> Proposals must include:
>     Cover page with relevant contact information;
>     Executive Summary of proposal including type of project and
> amount requested (concept research, up to $10,000 or development
> of accessibility product/prototype, up to $50,000);
>     A narrative description of the proposed project (do not
> exceed 5 pages double-spaced, 12 point font for the narrative
> portion of proposal) that includes the following:
>     addresses the review criteria outlined above;
>     clearly describes the project to be undertaken;
>     articulates the accessibility need being addressed by the
> project;
>     identifies the target population;
>     identifies the project's key personnel and their
> qualifications;
>     describes the host institution where research will occur
> including background on the organization's involvement with
> accessibility issues;
>     outlines the project timeline with an action plan
> (culminating in a presentation of findings at the CSUN conference
> in March 2000);
>     Detailed project budget with accompanying narrative
> explaining budget allocations and source of additional funds
> should project budget exceed maximum grant ($10,000 for concept
> research, $50,000 for product development);
>     List of Microsoft software being requested with a brief
> explanation of how the provision of this software will support
> the proposed project;
>     Evidence of nonprofit tax-exempt status (501c3 letter if
> U.S. organization) or equivalent for non-United States
> organizations.
> Submission of completed proposal:
> Mail original plus 5 copies of completed proposal to:
> Microsoft Community Affairs
> Attn: Exploring PC Accessibility: New Discoveries
> Microsoft Corporation
> One Microsoft Way
> Redmond, WA 98052-6399 
> U.S.A.
> Proposals submitted by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.
> ----------
> End of Document
Received on Thursday, 3 December 1998 16:05:54 UTC

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