What you need to know

  • Google and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation are giving 100,000 Home Minis to people living with paralysis and their caregivers.
  • The Google Home Mini can help improve lives of people living with paralysis and make them more independent.
  • If you'd like to help, you can donate to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation by simply asking Google Assistant.

Google today announced that it is partnering with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to give 100,000 Home Minis to people with paralysis as well as their caregivers in celebration of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this year. The small yet mighty Google Home Mini can prove to be of immense help to people with paralysis, allowing them to get things done more independently and also have a little fun with it.

Garrison Redd, who has been living with paralysis for nearly two decades now, was among the first people who received a Home Mini when Google Nest and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation launched a project aiming to understand how technology can help improve the lives of people living with paralysis.

Redd shed light on some of the biggest challenges that he faced at home and outside in a guest post:

Some of the greatest challenges and hurdles I face are at home. When you're paralyzed, your home goes from being a place of comfort and security to a reminder of what you've lost. For example, light switches and thermostats are usually too high up on the wall and, if my phone falls on the floor, I may not be able to call a friend or family member if I need help. These may seem like simple annoyances but, to members of the paralysis community, they reinforce the lack of control and limitations we often face.

Explaining how the Google Home Mini made his life much easier, Redd wrote:

The first thing I did was connect Mini to my Nest Thermostat (the one that's a tad too high). "Hey Google, turn down the thermostat" is especially useful these days in the summer heat. I'm training for the 2020 Paralympic Games as a powerlifter for Team USA, so I use my Mini to set alarms, manage my training schedule, and even make grocery lists. Music is a huge motivator for me, so I use my Mini to listen to Spotify playlists and get pumped up before a workout. I can have fun with my Mini, too. I've tried my hand at trivia by saying, "Hey Google, let's play lucky trivia." I've dropped a beat with "Hey Google, beat box," and I enjoy listening to my Google Play audiobooks. And, on a serious note, I know that if I need help but cannot reach my phone, I can use my Google Home Mini to call my mom or cousin using only my voice.

If you are a U.S. citizen and are living with a physical disability, mobility challenge, or paralysis, you are eligible for a free Google Home Mini. Individuals providing care to someone with a physical disability or paralysis are also eligible. If you would like to help, you can do so by asking Google Assistant, "Hey Google, donate to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation."

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