- Published on 04 June 2015
Google recently announced the launch of “Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities”, an initiative to increase independence for people living with disabilities.
Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities will aim to support non-profit organizations who use emerging technologies to increase independence. The idea is that emerging assistive technologies can make a real difference in people’s lives when they face a disability.
The company has issued an open call to identify new areas of opportunity in line with this objective. The best ideas will be selected by the company which will then help in development of the various innovative solutions by investing in the specific technology. USD 20 million in Google.org grants has been earmarked for the initiative.
As part of the launch, two organizations are already being given support. The first is the “Enable community”, which connects people who need upper-limb prosthetics with volunteers who use 3D printers to design, print, assemble, and fit these prosthetics, for no charge. The organization received a grant of USD 600,000.
The second is “World Wide Hearing” which received a grant of USD 500,000. The organization will develop, prototype and test a very low-cost tool kit for the diagnosis of hearing loss using smartphone technology. The principle behind the project is that smartphone technology is widely available and affordable in the developing world, where expensive equipment, which is often bulky and impossible to transport, cannot be used.