Google Impact Challenge
Google’s Impact Challenge seeks to “build awareness, identify solutions and help create universal access” for the one billion people with disabilities in the world (statistics from WHO).
According to figures from UN agencies such as UNICEF, the WHO, and others, only 5% of kids with disabilities finish elementary school, 80%-90% of people with disabilities are unemployed, and 50% of people with disabilities can’t afford the healthcare they need.
For Google, accessibility is of primary concern in the design of all their products.
The following are some accessible technology projects the company supports:
- Mission Arm, EXII, which 3D prints prosthetic hands to make them more affordable and faster to manufacture;
- Liftware, Google, stabilizing cutlery for persons with Parkinson’s disease;
- Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in collaboration with University of Oxford, who are developing smart glasses to help people with very limited vision identify objects and obstacles;
- e-NABLE, which uses open source designs to 3D print prosthetic limbs for children, making sure they have the correct sizes as they grow; and
- Worldwide Hearing, a cheaper and faster hearing loss screening tool, intended for use in remote areas in developing countries.
Google will fund USD 20 million worth of projects that solve challenges faced by persons with disabilities. Non-profit innovators can apply for grants and others with ideas can submit their ‘What Ifs” to Google to help guide their problem solving experts.
The final deadline for ideas is September 30, 2015. See the official open call for more details.