HORT HILLS, N.J., July 26, 2019 / — In celebration of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the leading nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for people living with paralysis, announced today a partnership with Google Nest to improve independence for the greater paralysis community through Google Nest products powered by the Google Assistant.
For individuals living with paralysis and mobility impairments, home can be a place of obstacles and isolation as a result of physical barriers and the expense associated with adaptive renovations. However, voice-enabled technology is a game changer for independent living across the disability and aging populations. Because Google Nest believes everyone deserves a more helpful home, they are providing up to 100,000 free Google Home Minis through the Reeve Foundation for individuals and families impacted by paralysis, to enhance quality of life at home. With these devices, people living with paralysis can control simple, daily tasks within their home with just their voice. And with compatible devices installed, they can even use their voice to turn on lights, turn up the thermostat and check who is at the door.
“We live in a world where technology has unlocked unforeseen possibilities for individuals living with paralysis. However, even the best ideas can gather dust unless the right partners—community and industry—work together to bring them to life. We are grateful to Google Nest for their commitment to work with the Reeve Foundation and restore independence for people living with paralysis,” said Rebecca Laming, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “It’s fitting that today—the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act—we are announcing an extraordinary partnership that extends the impact of this landmark legislation to achieve greater freedom and inclusion for individuals living with paralysis.”
All members of the Reeve Foundation community living with paralysis and their caregivers are able to receive a free Google Home Mini while supplies last and community members can confirm their eligibility by visiting Googlenest.reevefoundation.org. The offer to redeem the device expires on August 13, 2019 and is available to U.S. residents only.
Google Home Mini, part of the Google Nest portfolio of products, is a smart speaker with Google Assistant that provides access to the best of Google, such as Search, YouTube Music and more, plus features that encourage independent living. When typical in-home tasks like adjusting the temperature pose a significant challenge, a device like Google Home Mini, coupled with partner products, can have a transformative impact on individuals living with paralysis. For example, through the integration of other Google Nest products, Google Home Mini can provide an increased sense of security by allowing a user to see who is at the front door from their living room, as well as offer access to entertainment, communication, and educational training.
As part of the partnership, select members of the paralysis community served as pilot testers and integrated Google Nest products throughout their home. Through a series of videos, these individuals shared how voice-enabled technology restored their control of daily tasks empowering them to live with greater confidence and ease. The pilot members include:
Garrison Redd: Born and raised in Brooklyn, Garrison sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of gun violence when he was a teenager. He is currently training as a powerlifter with hopes of competing at the upcoming Paralympic Games as part of Team USA.
For the first time in 14-years, I can fully control my home from adjusting the temperature to turning on the lights. Google Home helps me stay focused on my training for the Paralympics and boosts my confidence that I can live independently and thrive.—Garrison Redd
Cole Sydnor: After sustaining a spinal cord injury diving into the James River in Virginia, Cole has dedicated his efforts to challenging the stigmas and misperceptions associated with paralysis through his YouTube Channel that has amassed over 160K subscribers.
Google Home has given me hope that I can move out with my girlfriend and start our lives together. It also gives my girlfriend and family the comfort of knowing if something happened to me, I could reach them through Google.—Cole Sydnor
Chanda Hinton: A well-known advocate, Chanda sustained a spinal cord injury as a child due to an accidental gun shot. Now she is one of the most prominent voices promoting access to integrative therapies for individuals living with paralysis in the Denver area.
As a woman living with a disability, I never felt comfortable answering my door or letting someone into my house. Google allows me to see who is at my front door so I can feel more secure and confident living on my own. When you are paralyzed, your most powerful tool is your voice.—Chanda Hinton
“For many of the 5.4 million Americans living with paralysis, home can be a reminder of what was lost following an injury or disability. However, technology like Google Home Mini can completely transform what it means to live independently, and, to caregivers, it offers much-needed reprieve and support. Together, the Reeve Foundation and Google Nest are giving back the comfort of what a home should be for families impacted by paralysis,” said Laming.
Individuals living with paralysis who receive a free Google Home Mini are encouraged to share their experience using #PowerOfVoice on all social media channels. Through user-generated content, Google Nest and the Reeve Foundation hope to ignite an industry-wide conversation that inspires tech companies to address the most pressing needs of the broader disability population.
For more information on how Google Nest is empowering members of the Reeve Foundation community, please visit Googlenest.reevefoundation.org.