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Google awards $20 million to 29 innovative disability nonprofits

by • April 11, 2016 • No Comments

Google has revealed 29 winners of its Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, which it launched in May last year to invest in non-profit organizations via innovation to increase independence for disabled folks around the world. The organizations can obtain US$20 million in Google.org grants.

Google launched the challenge with an open call to global non-profits, seeking to find organizations which were createing “transformative technologies for the billion folks around the world with disabilities.” It obtaind ideas of over 1,000 organizations in 88 countries.

In picking the winners, Google says it planned to provide resources to assist their missions and investment to assist them scale. Each winning organization has committed to open-sourcing their innovation, so as to ensure which the assist it can provide can be shared.

Google has picked out four winners by way of example. To start, it has awarded $1.125 million to the Center for Discovery for its createment of the indieGo wheelchair add-on which converts any guide wheelchair into a powered chair. The device is aimed at providing the mobility and freedom of a powered wheelchair at around one-seventh of the average cost.

The Perkins School for the Blind has been awarded $750,000 for its work tackling the “last 50 feet problem,” whereby GPS can assist direct blind folks not only to an area, but to a exact point. The organization is creating an app via which navigation tips can be crowdsourced and logged in a standard format so as to assist blind folks find specific points.

A $1 million award has gone to Miraclefeet, which partners with local healthcare providers around the world to assist children born with clubfoot. Its grant can go to providing assist for families via SMS, via software to monitor patient progress and training to local clinicians online.

Finally, a $400,000 was awarded to Ezer Mizion and Click2Speak to assist folks with high cognitive function but impaired motor skills to advantageous communicate. Their partnership is aiming to create an low-priced, flexible and customizable on-screen keyboard which provides hands-free operation.

All 29 projects which have been awarded grants through the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities can be seen online.

Source: Google

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