Meet the innovators working toward a more accessible future.

We’re supporting forward-thinking nonprofits with big ideas that use technology to expand opportunity and independence for people with disabilities. As part of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, we awarded 29 amazing grantees with $20 million in grants to help address accessibility challenges all over the world—and now, we’re helping them bring their projects to life.

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Image illustrating the e-Nable grantee

e-Nable

e-NABLE is a global community of volunteers that designs and creates 3D printed prosthetics.

Image illustrating the World Wide Hearing grantee

World Wide Hearing

World Wide Hearing is developing an inexpensive tool for health workers anywhere to screen for hearing loss.

Image illustrating the Mission Arm | exiii grantee

Mission Arm | exiii

Mission Arm and exiii are working together to make affordable prosthetics accessible for everyone.

Image illustrating the Royal National Institute for Blind People | Smart Glasses grantee

Royal National Institute for Blind People | Smart Glasses

The RNIB is developing smart glasses to help people with sight loss regain their independence and confidence.

Image illustrating the J’accede grantee

J’accede

J’accede is building a community of advocates to map accessible locations around the world using a mobile app.

Image illustrating the Wheelmap grantee

Wheelmap

Wheelmap is creating a global dataset of accessible locations for people with disabilities.

Image illustrating the My Human Kit grantee

My Human Kit

My Human Kit is launching an online platform to connect people in need of prosthetics to low-cost, open-source 3D printed models.

Image illustrating the The Arc of the United States grantee

The Arc of the United States

The Arc is building a search and recommendation tool to help people with cognitive disabilities find the right technology to reach their goals.

Image illustrating the Motivation grantee

Motivation

Motivation is testing customizable postural support designs to provide better fitting wheelchairs to users around the world.

Image illustrating the Royal London Society for Blind People / Wayfindr grantee

Royal London Society for Blind People / Wayfindr

Wayfindr is developing technology that delivers audio-based directions to users’ smartphones, providing a more independent lifestyle to the visually impaired.

Image illustrating the Center for Discovery grantee

Center for Discovery

The Center for Discovery is developing an open-source power add on to quickly convert any manual wheelchair into a power chair.

Image illustrating the UCP Wheels for Humanity grantee

UCP Wheels for Humanity

UCP Wheels for Humanity is collecting data on wheelchair usage in developing countries to ensure everyone has access to the chair that best suits their needs.

Image illustrating the Ezer Mizion | Click2Speak grantee

Ezer Mizion | Click2Speak

Ezer Mizion and Click2Speak are piloting an onscreen keyboard to help people with low mobility and high cognitive function better communicate.

Image illustrating the DAISY Consortium grantee

DAISY Consortium

DAISY is developing a suite of industry-standard accessibility tools for publishers to ensure that every book is accessible to people with disabilities when printed.

Image illustrating the Benetech grantee

Benetech

Benetech is scaling access to their library and content conversion process to make more books accessible to the visually impaired.

Image illustrating the Dan Marino Foundation grantee

Dan Marino Foundation

The Dan Marino Foundation is developing software that uses interactive avatars to help young people with autism train for job interviews.

Image illustrating the Miraclefeet grantee

Miraclefeet

Miraclefeet is augmenting clubfoot treatment by providing monitoring, engagement, and training software to keep providers and patients on track.

Image illustrating the Perkins School for the Blind grantee

Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins is using crowdsourced data from local contributors to develop technology that helps the visually impaired to navigate the gap between GPS and the real world.

Image illustrating the Inclusion without Borders | Livox grantee

Inclusion without Borders | Livox

Livox’s nonprofit arm is helping people with limited speech ability participate in conversation more fully by making assistive communication technology more intuitive and responsive.

Image illustrating the Beit Issie Shapiro | TOM grantee

Beit Issie Shapiro | TOM

Beit Issie Shapiro and TOM are creating a template for “Makeathon-in-a-box,” which connects makers with people with disabilities to develop new accessibility solutions.

Image illustrating the Neil Squire Society grantee

Neil Squire Society

The Neil Squire Society is developing a mouth-operated controller that will allow individuals with limited use of their arms to interact with a mobile device.

Image illustrating the TDI grantee

TDI

TDI is developing software to make live captioning services more affordable and more available for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Image illustrating the ProPortion grantee

ProPortion

ProPortion is developing and distributing a device that quickly and easily produces high-quality prosthetic sockets in developing countries.

Image illustrating the Leprosy Mission Trust India grantee

Leprosy Mission Trust India

The Leprosy Mission Trust India is producing 3D-printed custom footwear that allows people with leprosy to maintain the ability to walk.

Image illustrating the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust grantee

Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust

Ratna Nidhi is working to bring comfortable, easy-to-produce prosthetic sockets to rural areas of India using 3D scanning and printing.

Image illustrating the Nia Technologies grantee

Nia Technologies

Nia Technologies is training prosthetic technicians to use 3D scanning and printing to produce prosthetic sockets more quickly.

Image illustrating the APAE Brasil grantee

APAE Brasil

APAE Brasil is developing an SMS messaging system to support families who have children with developmental disabilities.

Image illustrating the Beit Issie Shapiro | Sesame grantee

Beit Issie Shapiro | Sesame

Sesame and Beit Issie Shapiro are partnering to pilot a solution that allows people with limited mobility to operate smartphones by moving their head.

Image illustrating the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled | University of Washington | AfriNEAD | Dimagi grantee

Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled | University of Washington | AfriNEAD | Dimagi

SAFOD, UW, AfriNEAD, and Dimagi are creating a platform that tracks data about the supply and distribution of assistive technologies in southern Africa to expose gaps in availability and spur further adoption.

What we looked for.

Big ideas

Projects that were transformative and addressed change not only desired by the organization—but change the organization wanted to see in the world. In 10 years, if the idea were to be wildly successful, how would the lives of people with disabilities be different?

Technology at the core

Projects had to apply technology in a way that was innovative and effective. Technology needed to not just make the existing work more efficient; it had to create or enable entirely new solutions and approaches. Of course, we loved ideas that involved the development of cutting-edge technology, but innovative applications of existing technology were also welcomed.

Potential for scale

We don’t expect ideas to reach millions of people in a year (if they could, definitely a plus), but applicants needed to be able to articulate a way in which their solution could ultimately reach a large number of people.

Team

Taking on big, scalable projects that have technology at their core is hard. We looked for teams that were strong and nimble enough to implement the work proposed.