Google launches disability nonprofit challenge

Grants for Technologies
Grants for Technologies

Google announced May 26 that it is offering $20 million in grants to nonprofits that design technologies for people with disabilities.

The initiative, titled the “Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities,” will focus on technologies that allow people with disabilities to live more independently.

“The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities will seek out nonprofits and help them find new solutions to some serious ‘what ifs’ for the disabled community,” wrote in a blog post. “We will choose the best of these ideas and help them to scale by investing in their vision, by rallying our people and by mobilizing our resources in support of their missions.”

Among the grant recipients so far are World Wide Hearing, which is working to develop a low cost tool kit for hearing loss, using smart phone technology, for people in low-income countries. Another recipient, the Enable Community Foundation, is working to create 3D-printer upper limb prosthetics.

“Historically, people living with disabilities have relied on technologies that were often bulky, expensive, and limited to assisting with one or two specific tasks. But that’s beginning to change,” Fuller wrote in the blog post. “Thanks to groups like Enable and World Wide Hearing, and with tools like Liftware, we’re starting to see the potential for technologies that can profoundly and affordably impact millions.

“But we’ll all get there sooner if we make it a team effort—which is why we’re launching Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities today. Together, we can create a better world, faster.”