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Google to create 'universal access for people with disabilities'

Google to create 'universal access for people with disabilities'
Andrew Tarantola
Andrew Tarantola|@terrortola|May 26, 2015 3:38 PM

One billion people worldwide live with a physical or developmental disability. And for those in developing nations, many of these disabilities dictate a life of social and economic marginalization. But Google's doing something about it. The company announced Tuesday that it is funding a $20 million grant for its latest Impact Challenge, one aimed at making the world more accessible for those with disabilities.

Specifically, the new Google Impact: Disabilities program seeks to "build awareness, identify solutions and help create universal access for people with disabilities." To that end Google is soliciting people on both sides of the issue -- people (or those whose family are) living with a disability as well as innovators, inventors and tinkerers. The Google's has already teamed up with non-profit startups like Mission Arm, E-Nable and World Wide Hearing, and now it's looking to fund more solutions to the tune of $20 million.

The program is effectively split into two halves. Members of the general public are encouraged to submit "What If" questions -- essentially suggestions for accessibility issues they'd like solved -- while startups and inventors should respond to Google's Open Call. The program is accepting most and any all ideas until September 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time.

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Google to create 'universal access for people with disabilities'