One of the uses of voice-activated digital assistants is the additional flexibility they offer to people who are unable to easily move around. With a Google Home, HomePod or Harmon Kardon smart speaker, users can automate some aspects of their life enough to reduce any unnecessary movement. Google, in partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, is providing up to 100,000 free Google Home Minis to users living with paralysis.
“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, and with Mini, I listen to Spotify playlists and get pumped up before a workout,” said Garrison Redd, an ambassador of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, sharing his experience with the Google Home Mini. “[I] know that if I need help but cannot reach my phone, I can use my Mini to call my mom or cousin using only my voice. 29 years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act passed landmark legislation making public spaces more accessible for everyone. Unfortunately, the world isn’t flat and there are still many obstacles for people living with paralysis. I’m hopeful that Google Nest can help more people make their homes that much easier to navigate, just as it has for me.”
You can learn more about program eligibility from Google and the Reeve Foundation.