Google launches program that seeks to help and partner with creators with disabilities

The Google logo at Google's Pier 57 building in New York City
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's new GRID program launches with a strong focus on helping and partnering with the disability community in the U.S.
  • The company is also partnering with the USABA to provide Pixel phones to those in its Ambassador program who are blind or have low vision.
  • Google is creating a $5 million fund for programs leveraging its Blocky open-source library to help disabled students learn coding and computer science.

Google is launching a new program today (May 16) that will partner more closely with the disability community across the United States.

According to a blog post, the company is introducing the "Google's Rising Influencers with Disabilities Fellowship," or GRID, for short. This six-month fellowship program will help Google create a "sense of belonging" online for creators and influencers with disabilities.

The GRID program will cover "key skills" for digital creators, industry leader-provided lessons, and a direct line to Google's product teams. Google is also giving new creators/influencers who are getting into GRID a chance to work with pre-established creators with disabilities in a mentorship capacity.

Across the country, the program is said to include fifteen fellowships.

Among those Google partners with for GRID is the USABA (U.S. Association of Blind Athletes). Through this, the company states it will provide Pixel phones, leveraging Google Fi Wireless, and other company-made tools to those who are blind or with low vision. This pertains to those enrolled in the USABA Sport Ambassador program.

The launch of Google's GRID program in the U.S.

(Image credit: Google)

Google highlights the expansion of support for product accessibility by announcing the opening of a discovery center in Zurich, Switzerland.  The company hopes to bring more attention to how it implements accessibility features into its products through this center. Zurich is the third and joins the likes of the London Discovery Center and Dublin.

Supporting companies and programs investing in computer science education leads Google to reveal its $5 million fund toward those places. The post states that the fund will deliver grants to programs utilizing Google's Blocky open-source library to create teaching material. Blocky features accessibility tools like keyboard navigation plugins alongside other "themes" to help the visually impaired, such as color blindness or low vision. These programs are said to support the education of students with disabilities who are interested in coding and computer science.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.