As part of an initiative to help people living with paralysis become more independent in their homes, Google Nest is donating up to 100,000 Google Home Minis to eligible individuals in the US. The project, which started as part of an initiative by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation in collaboration with Google Nest, has already successfully provided the speakers to a number of eligible people across the country.
In a heartfelt message on the official Google blog, Garrison Redd, one of the beneficiaries of the project and a Paralympic athlete aspiring to take part in the 2020 Paralympic Games, said that he uses the Mini to “set alarms, manage my training schedule, and even make grocery lists … listen to Spotify playlists and get pumped up before a workout”. The device helped him “control my environment, gain more independence, and have a little fun—all with my voice”, he said.
Everyday actions that seem routine for able-bodied people may become difficult – even impossible – for people living with disabilities. Narrating his harrowing experiences after losing mobility 20 years ago, Reed said: “When you’re paralyzed, your home goes from being a place of comfort and security to a reminder of what you’ve lost. 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”.
Individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers can sign up with the Christopher Reeve Foundation to check if they are eligible to receive a Google Home Mini.