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Google.org Gives Away Grants Amounting to $20M to Help the Disabled

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Impact Challenge to benefit the disabled

Google.org, has given away $20 million in the form of grants to organizations working towards developing technology that could be used to aid disabled people. The precedent for this kind of action was set last year when the tech giants held its Impact Challenge, the winners from which were announced earlier this week. The projects from this challenge range from contraptions that can turn any wheelchair into an electrical, powered one, to readily available prosthetic production. The competition’s winners have received an average grant of $750,000 while a handful crossed the $1 million mark.

Google.org, has given away $20 million in the form of grants to organizations working towards developing technology that could be used to aid disabled people. The precedent for this kind of action was set last year when the tech giants held its Impact Challenge, the winners from which were announced earlier this week. The projects from this challenge range from contraptions that can turn any wheelchair into an electrical, powered one, to readily available prosthetic production. The competition’s winners have received an average grant of $750,000 while a handful crossed the $1 million mark.

There are currently over 1 billion people living with disabilities over the world according to Google, and it is this number that has rushed them into action. Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, who took lead on the Impact Challenge, wrote in a blogpost:

“One in three people with a disability lives in poverty. In places like the United States, 50 to 70 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed; in developing countries that number increases to 80 to 90 percent. And only 10 percent of people with disabilities in developing countries have access to the assistive devices they need.”

The winners of the competition seem to showcase the company’s approach to solving problems, Google wants you to get creative and tackle the issue as any technical mind would. One of the winners Click2Speak, who have been awarded $400,000, is working towards improving their virtual keyboard for people with disabilities. e-NABLE who managed to get $600,000 are developing technology that will be able to produce 3D-printed prosthetics for young children. The Perkins School for the blind, who have received $750,000 is making a micro-navigation application that goes into the detail of one’s traveling, providing information regarding things such as entrance doors and bus stops.

A full list of the challenge’s winners and the projects they are developing is available on Google.org’s website.

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