Microsoft Announces Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

Redmond, WA — Microsoft is pleased to announce the launch of the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship intended to empower and enable high school students with disabilities to (a) go to college, (b) realize the impact technology has on the world, and (c) target a career in the technology industry.

The scholarship launched Friday, January 17, 2014 and includes a goal to increase enrollment of persons living with a disability in higher education and, in the long term, decrease the unemployment bias for disabled persons.

This new program was started by, and is supported by, Microsoft employees who will select promising high school seniors who require financial assistance in order to enter and successfully complete a vocational or academic college program. This non-renewable $5000 scholarship will be paid to the recipient’s Financial Aid Office by the Seattle Foundation on behalf of the DisAbility Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Microsoft.

All candidates must be high school students living with a disability who plan to attend a 2 to 4 year University or College program, maintain a cumulative 3.0 CPA or equivalent and have declared a major from the approved list (see scholarship guidelines on application).

To apply for the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship, the student must meet the following guidelines:

1. Be a current high school senior with living with a disability (as defined by WHO), whether that be visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive or speech.

2. Plan to attend an undergraduate program in a 2 or 4-year University/College or Technical College in the fall of the academic year following high-school graduation. Schools must be in the USA or have a USA-Affiliate for financial transactions (contact Seattle Foundation to verify non-USA school’s eligibility).

3. Declare a major in engineering, computer science, computer information systems, legal or in businesses that are approved (i.e. paralegal, pre-law, finance, business administration, or marketing).

4. Demonstrate a passion for technology.

5. Demonstrate leadership at school and/or in the community.

6. Have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

7. Require financial assistance to attend college.

8. Enrollment status must be full-time or half time.

DisAbility Employee Resource Group
Microsoft Corporation

Seattle Foundation
Travis Petersen
Philanthropic Services Associate
Scholarship Manager
The Seattle Foundation
1200 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1300
Seattle WA 98101-3151
(206) 515-2139 direct
(206) 622-7673 fax

Microsoft Accessibility Study Seeks Participants

Have you ever wanted to talk to someone who creates the technology you use? Now’s your chance! Microsoft User Research is committed to making every product more accessible, but we need your help! We are currently seeking visually impaired and blind community members to participate in our exclusive consumer research panel. By participating as a panelist you will have an unprecedented impact on the future of Microsoft products.

Panelist will be eligible to participate in studies over the span of three months starting December 10th through February 19th.

To participate, email with “access” in the subject line. Include the information below.

1. Name/Phone
2. Job Title/Company (if not working, that’s ok):
3. Age:
4. Smartphone make and model:
5. Do you own a tablet? If yes, what is the make and model:
6. What operating system are you currently using?(Windows 8, Windows 7, OSX, etc.)
7. What is your highest level of education?
8. Are you currently using Microsoft Office? If yes, what version?
9. How many hours per week do you spend reading?
10. Do you use any accessibility software? (JAWS, MAGic, etc.) If yes, which?
11. Please describe your visual impairment:

We’ll give you a call if you look like a match for this study. If you are selected to participate, you’ll get a $100 gift card for every study session you participate in.

Thanks for your time,

Microsoft User Research

Explore an Alaska Airlines 737

A Unique Opportunity!

Alaska Airlines is offering an opportunity for blind or visually impaired people to explore the interior of one of its 737 airplanes.

Here are only a few of the things you may learn during the tour:

Where the airplane exit doors are located and how to operate them in an emergency.
How an airline emergency oxygen mask actually works.
How you can locate and utilize the airplane flotation device that is under the seat.
How the restroom is laid out in a unique airplane setting.

Date: November 19th, 2013
Time: 6:00-8:00 PM
Where: SeaTac Airport
Who is invited? Anyone who is blind or visually impaired!
All children under age 16 must come with an accompanying adult.

Transportation: Because this event will take place at the Alaska Airlines hanger in a secure part of the airport, the number of vehicles allowed on the tarmac is limited to 2 or 3.

DSB (Department of Services for the Blind) and VLC (Vision Loss Connections) will providing transportation to and from the airplane tour. Please watch for further information on times and locations to meet a bus that will take you to this event.

RSVP: Space is limited. Please RSVP no later than November 10th.
Janet George — Telephone: 206-906-5530 or email.
Yang-su Cho — Telephone: 206-906-5518 or email.

Note: The airplane we will explore could be called into the field at the last minute to replace one that is unable to fly. For this reason we may have to reschedule at short notice. Alaska Airlines assures us this is not likely, but they want us to be aware of the possibility.

“Anything Goes” Audio Described at 5th Avenue

Enjoy a boatload of madcap comedy, enough tap dancing to start a tidal wave and some of Cole Porter’s most De-Licious songs: “You’re the Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and of course “Anything Goes.”

Anything Goes
The 5th Avenue Theater
Saturday, November 2, 2013
2:00 PM Matinee performance with Audio Description by Tony Brown
Audio described introduction of sets and costumes at 1:45PM; will replay at Intermission.

Tickets for Anything Goes purchased through Vision Loss Connections are $25.00 per ticket for a person who is visually impaired and 1 friend or family member.

To reserve a seat, email Patt Copeland or call Patt at (206) 282-3913. Make checks payable to VLC and mail to
Vision Loss Connections
23 West Boston Street
Seattle, WA 98119

You are invited to join us for lunch at the Rock Bottom Restaurant right across the street from the Theater. Plan to arrive around 11:15AM for relaxed dining. Rock Bottom Restaurant, which has a moderately priced menu, is located at 1333 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, Washington.

If you are using the Access Van, we recommend you arrange your pick-up at the Red Lion Inn, 1415 Fifth Avenue, between 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

Seattle Art Museum Accessible Tour

Vision Loss Connections announces its new season of Access Tours at the Seattle Art Museum. The Museum is located at 1300 1st Avenue 98101.

The first Access Tour is on Wednesday, October 23rd at 11:00 AM. The Tour will focus on a new Exhibit, Peru Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, showcasing art that spans over three thousand years of Peruvian History and Culture. The Tour will feature in depth verbal description to make the art accessible to people who are visually impaired

The Access Tour is free. After the tour, the Art Access Tour group will go to lunch at a new nearby restaurant, Italian Family Pizza, 1206 First Avenue (half a block South on First Avenue from the Art Museum).

Space is limited. To reserve a spot email Patt Copeland or call Patt at (206) 282-3913. Please meet between 10:30 and 11:00 in the main lobby of Seattle Art Museum, close to the entrance at First Avenue and Union Street.

There is a Saturday Access Tour of the Peru Exhibit on Saturday Nov. 16, 2013 starting at 10:00AM.

MS Accessibility Study Seeks Participants

Have you ever wanted to talk to someone behind the technology you use? Now’s your chance. Microsoft User Research is conducting end-user research and wants you to participate.

Microsoft User Research is seeking visually impaired and blind community members for upcoming accessibility studies. Studies will take place on Microsoft’s Redmond Campus with two hour time slots available starting in the beginning of October. Each participant will be offered a choice of new Microsoft software, hardware or games from a list of our most popular products.

To participate in a two hour study, email with “access” in the subject line. Include the information below.

1. Name/Phone:
2. Job Title/Company (if not working, that’s ok):
3. Age:
4. What applications and software do you use regularly?
5. Do you use and accessibility software (JAWs, Windows Eye, speech recognition, etc.)? If yes, which?
6. Please describe your visual impairment:
7. What operating system are you currently using? (Windows 8, Windows 7, Linux, etc.)

We’ll give you a call if you look like a match for this study. If you are selected and participate, you’ll get a choice of Microsoft software, hardware, or games as a thank you.

Jillian Folks

Assistive Technology and Low Vision Open House

When: Tuesday October 8, 2013 from 11 am – 7 pm
Where: Department of Services for the Blind (DSB)
3411 South Alaska St
Seattle WA 98118
(free parking available on site)

Ever wondered what kind of technology is available for a person who is blind or has low vision? Well here’s your chance to find out!

The Dept. of Services for the Blind is opening its doors to their Seattle Assistive Technology and Low Vision labs to provide you with a hands-on experience. Come try out a wide range of tools, devices and technology to see what’s out there.

Staff will be on site to answer your questions so you can get the most out of your experience. Representatives from the WA Assistive Technology Act Program and the WA Access Fund will also be present to provide information about their services.

Please RSVP to: Nancy Eckert (206) 906-5512 or
Refreshments will be served.

10 Free Tickets for “Secondhand Lions”

Vision Loss Connections has received a grant from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture to offer Arts Access to youths who are blind or visually impaired.

The first event supported by the grant features free tickets to 10 youths who are visually impaired, plus an accompanying adult, to attend the audio described world premiere performance of Secondhand Lions at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle. The performance is a 2:00 PM matinee on Saturday, October 5th, 2013.

Secondhand Lions
At the 5th Avenue Theater
On Saturday, October 5th 2013
2:00 PM matinee performance
With audio description by Tony Brown!

Secondhand Lions tells the story of Walter, a young boy who is sent to spend a lonely summer on his great uncles’ Texas ranch. Thanks to their tall tales of beguiling princesses, heroic rescues and hidden treasure, Walter has the adventure of a lifetime and learns more than a little about love and family. You’ll be captivated by the fresh and inventive music and the audio description that brings the visuals of swashbuckling swordplay to life.

The 5th Avenue Theater is centrally located in downtown Seattle at 1308 5th Avenue between Union and University Streets.

Vision Loss Connections is a non-profit organization that offers Arts and Cultural Access to people of all ages in the blind and low vision community.

For more information or to reserve a ticket, contact Vision Loss Connections
Telephone: 206-282-3913

Seattle Sluggers Beep Ball Fundraiser

You are invited to a fundraiser to benefit the Seattle South King Sluggers Beep Ball team. Beep Ball is form of baseball modified so it can be played by those who are blind or visually impaired.

Join the fun and support the Sluggers fundraiser at

Rookies Sports Bar
3820 S Ferdinand Street in Seattle
Monday, August 26, from 5 to 9 p.m.

A percentage of the proceeds
from these four hours goes to support
Seattle’s first baseball team for the blind

If you would like to make a donation but are not able to attend the Rookies Sports Bar fundraiser, please contact Kevin Daniel, Head Coach, at