Announcement of winners of Microsoft AI for Accessibility Hackathon...

Announcement of winners of Microsoft AI for Accessibility Hackathon in APAC

Enterprise Networking Mag | Thursday, May 19, 2022

Microsoft AI for Accessibility (AI4A) Hackathon in APAC winners are teams from Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. The AI4A Hackathon is featuring teams who are deeply committed to solving real-world challenges faced by people with disabilities, in its third year.

FREMONT, CA: The hackathon, in order to launch their applications with cash prizes, acts as a signboard for creators and developers to launch their applications, with cash prizes, access to Microsoft Technical experts to co-build their solutions on Microsoft Azure and continued mentoring support to build out their solution.  Drawing on real-life challenges faced by PwDs, 14 non-profit organizations shared problem statements that the 75 teams in the AI4A Hackathon used to build innovative solutions around the themes of transport, wearable devices and language tools.

Solutions to bridge the disability divide were created by Team Asclepius from Thailand, and Team EIA from the Philippines which include building an AL-enabled communication aid for people who are deaf, and a smart system that allows people with physical disabilities to live independently, as well as inclusive banking for people who are blind. There are two additional teams from Indonesia (Arabic Braille Converter) and Singapore (MeetMeHear) who are likely to receive coaching from Microsoft and its partners, including access to cloud architects, and business consultation guidance to develop their solution, a proof-of-concept to an application hosted on Microsoft Azure. Microsoft believes that accessibility is essential to delivering on its mission to "empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more" highlighting the fact that there are more than one billion people with disabilities in the world and 650 million in Asia. The month of May has been dedicated by Microsoft to Accessibility Awareness Month, with a series of workshops, training, and events as well as awarding and celebrating winners of the AI for Accessibility Hackathon, to stress the importance of how technology can unlock solutions that empower people with disabilities and enable transformative change within communities in APAC.

Pratima Amonkar, Chair for D&I and Accessibility for Microsoft Asia Pacific expressed her enthusiasm to witness the continued submissions this year for the hackathon to improve the lives of PwDs and congratulate the winners who so passionately brought their solutions to fruition. She further added that the month of  May will be crucial for them to see the tremendous possibility of the contribution of PwDs as they roll out the exciting awareness, training and mentorship programs with their customers, partners and the wider community across the region.

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