Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org organized the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities in May 2015 to “seek out nonprofits and help them find new solutions to some serious ‘what ifs’ for the disabled community,” Google.org director, Jacquelline Fuller, posted online. The $20 million grant will be distributed between the 29 winners and reach over 50 countries with their projects.
Google.org claims that it’s different than the others before, claiming that it is an agnostic organization and therefore can be more objective than individuals who might be more passion-driven about the issues they pick. Google is not only willing to help the nonprofits with financial support but also with their tech expertise to create efficient, affordable services and products.
They kicked off the challenge by supporting the Enable Community Foundation with a $600,000 grant to advance on its hand designs, improve fit, and increase the number of people who can benefit from its devices. Another nonprofit who received a $500,000 grant from the start is World Wide Hearing. They are developing a low cost tool kit for hearing loss using smartphone technology that will be widely available and affordable to most families including those in the developing world.
There are more than 1 billion people living with disabilities worldwide, and Google.org hopes to improve their lives, no matter how big or small the ways.