Google has pledged $20 million in grants to nonprofit companies which are using revolutionary technologies to aid the disabled.
The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities program was launched Tuesday. The internet giant made an open call for companies and organization to find new areas of opportunity in the field. According to a statement issued by Google, the company is challenging the thinkers, the builders, the doers to create technologies which can help the one billion people who are currently living with a disability.
To start the proceedings, Google made public its support for two groups: World Wide Hearing and Enable Community Foundation. Enable, which is searching for volunteers to design, assemble, print and fit 3D-printed prosthetic tools for free, got a $600,000 grant as aid in order to advance advance the design and delivery of 3D-printed upper-limb prosthetics which are also open-source, .
A $500,000 grant was awarded to World Wide Hearing. Google wants the organization to develop and test low-cost tool kits for people who suffer from hearing loss. Using largely affordable and available smartphone technology, the group works in low-income areas and communities where it helps to aid auditory challenges.
“The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities will seek out nonprofits and help them find new solutions to some serious ‘what ifs’ for the disabled community. 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” Google.org Director Jacquelline Fuller wrote in a blog post.
This isn’t the first round of Google.org funding for the disabled. Mission Arm and e-NABLE each received grants to 3D print prosthetic limbs, while the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is developing smart glasses with money from Google.
Fuller added that Google is constantly working to improve and produce accessibility tools, such as Liftware, which is a a multi-purpose tool designed to help people with hand tremors when eating, making the job more easy for them.
“Historically, people living with disabilities have relied on technologies that were often bulky, expensive, and limited to assisting one or two specific tasks. But that’s beginning to change. 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. Together, we can create a better world, faster,” Fuller wrote.
Image Source: Inhabitat