[nfbwatlk] Google pledges $20 million toward helping people with disabilities, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 26 2015

Nightingale, Noel Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Mon Jun 1 20:05:10 UTC 2015


Google pledges $20 million toward helping people with disabilities
Posted on May 26, 2015 | By seattlepi.com staff

Google.org, the tech giant's philanthropic arm, pledged $20 million Tuesday toward funding nonprofits that are using technology to increase independence for people with disabilities.

Google.org issued an open call for proposals Tuesday through its Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities. The Google.org team will evaluate the proposals on a rolling basis.

On Tuesday, Google.org announced its first two grantees:

It awarded $600,000 to the Enable Community Foundation, which connects people who want prosthetics with volunteers who use 3-D printers to design, assemble, and fit them for free. The grant will go toward open-source, 3D-printed upper-limb prosthetics.

It awarded $500,000 to World Wide Hearing, a Canadian nonprofit that develops hearing aids for young people in developing countries. World Wide Hearing will use the grant "to develop, prototype, and test an extremely low-cost mobile toolkit for diagnosing hearing loss using widely available and affordable smartphone technology," according to the nonprofit.

In a blog post Tuesday, Google.org director Jacquelline Fuller said:

"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. 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."

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