Google is making a splash in the accessibility space, with the company announcing it has partnered with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and will give 100,000 Google Home Mini speakers to people living with paralysis.
It's an interesting move by Google, which made the announcement via a blog post written by Garrison Redd, someone who lives with paralysis. Redd describes the hurdles he and other paralytics sufferers face in the home, be it turning on a light switch or making a phone call.
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For many of us, the smart home is about efficiency, but, for people with disabilities, these technologies can be far more transformative. So, while this partnership might be a nice PR move for Google, it should also have a genuine and positive impact on lives. After all, there are plenty of testimonies from people with disabilities who are finding benefits in voice assistants.
"29 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act passed landmark legislation making public spaces more accessible for everyone," wrote Redd in the blog post. "Unfortunately, the world isnât flat and there are still many obstacles that pose challenges for people living with paralysis."
Individuals with paralysis and their caregivers can request their Mini through a link on the blog. Google is also making it possible for Home users to make a donation to the charity, by asking the Google Assistant, âHey Google, donate to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation".