Learn more about how we’ll take back the Senate in 2016.
When Laura Palmaro was 10 years old, she woke one morning to find that the central vision in her left eye had all but disappeared. She was not ill and had no genetic issues—it was completely out of the blue. When she was 14, the same rare condition struck her right eye, and she began her freshman year of high school legally blind. Suddenly she was forced to depend on other people to read everything aloud, from school assignments to menus. The toughest part, according to Laura, was losing her sense of independence—and not knowing when or how she would get it back.
Laura has since adopted technological solutions to her vision challenges, using a combination of screen-readers and magnification software to read, work and more. Now a program manager at Google, she is following her passion, helping Chrome and Chrome OS teams make their products more accessible. “Technology has truly transformed my life,” she says. “Assistive technology can tear down boundaries, and empower people to find their independence and fulfill their dreams.”
We agree with Laura about the power of technology to change lives. And in order to support more people like her—people who see obstacles as opportunities—we’re launching the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities. We’re putting $20 million in Google.org grants behind nonprofits using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities, and today we’re issuing an open call to identify new areas of opportunity at g.co/ImpactChallengeDisability.
We’re kicking things off with support for two remarkable organizations. Each of these organizations is using technology to dramatically reduce the cost of and access to prosthetic limbs and auditory therapy, respectively—which could be transformative for hundreds of millions of people.
The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities will seek out nonprofits and help them find new solutions to some serious “what ifs” for the disabled community. We will choose the best of these ideas and help them to scale by investing in their vision, by rallying our people and by mobilizing our resources in support of their missions.
But of course, we realize there’s always room to improve our products as well. We have a team committed to monitoring the accessibility of Google tools; and we provide engineering teams with training to incorporate accessibility principles into products and services. That doesn’t just mean improving existing Google tools, it means developing new ones as well. For example, Liftware is a stabilizing utensil designed to help people with hand tremors eat more easily, and self-driving cars could one day transform mobility for everyone.
Historically, people living with disabilities have relied on technologies that were often bulky, expensive, and limited to assisting with one or two specific tasks. But that’s beginning to change. Thanks to groups like Enable and World Wide Hearing, and with tools like Liftware, we’re starting to see the potential for technologies that can profoundly and affordably impact millions. But we’ll all get there sooner if we make it a team effort—which is why we’re launching Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities today. Together, we can create a better world, faster.
Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org
Originally posted on theGrio:
In August 2009, 13-year-old Dreia Davis was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting.
Doctors said she would not recover.
Six years later, she is a senior in high school and says she feels “fabulous,” – but her father is still struggling to make her life comfortable.
Davis’ father Curtis White told MyFoxDetroit his home is not wheelchair accessible. He said he carries Dreia every day into her bedroom because her chair cannot fit through doorways.
“I think we are one of the forgotten, getting her in and out of this wheelchair,” Curtis said. “It’s hard moving her around from room to room.”
But Curtis and Dreia are no strangers to adversity. After the shooting, they had to fight just to survive.
“(Doctors said) she would never move, she would never talk, she would never have a normal life,” White…
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It seems like the 2016 GOP presidential field grows larger and larger every day, but not all of their candidates can play on the Republican varsity team — some of them have got to ride the bench as second-string players in the fight for the Republican nomination. They’re the GOP Benchwarmers, and they’re allotted a lot less playing time — and media attention — than GOP frontrunners like Donald Trump.
But even though these aren’t necessarily household names, what they’re saying might sound familiar — that’s because when it comes to things like the economy or immigration or marriage equality, these folks really aren’t that much different from the GOP frontrunners. They’re all on the same team. So it’s still as important as ever that supporters like you get the word out to family members and friends about how wrong these candidates (and their ideas) are for America.
As a U.S. Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham:
As governor of New York, George Pataki:
As CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a failed candidate for the Senate in 2010, Carly Fiorina:
Here’s what 2016 looks like under former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee:
As a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum:
It might be hard to remember all of these GOP candidates’ names, but make sure you never forget their ideas — all of which are bad for hardworking American people all across the country. We’ve got to do everything we can to make sure these GOP Benchwarmers and the bad ideas they share with their Republicans teammates stay as far away from the White House as possible.
Spread the word by forwarding this email to three people right now, so they can meet the Benchwarmers too! And make sure everyone you know has the facts about the other Republican candidates for president: