Google has teamed up with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to give 100,000 Google Home Mini smart speakers to people living with paralysis and their caregivers, the company announced Friday morning. Eligible U.S. residents can apply on the website of the foundation.
The commitment comes as Google is increasingly emphasizing the role its Google Assistant can play for people with disabilities; the company announced the donation with a blog post penned by Paralympic athlete Garrison Redd. And earlier this year, Google previewed how it is looking to improve the accessibility of the Assistant for people with speech impairments.
It’s probably no accident that this increased social engagement comes at a time when Google and other tech giants are increasingly under scrutiny by federal regulators. Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced that it would investigate big tech-companies for anti-competitive behavior.
But regardless of the motives, a massive donation like this could make a real difference for the recipients, especially if it happens in partnership with an established non-profit. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, named after the late actor and his wife, has been serving victims of spinal cord injuries and others affected by paralysis since 1999. Reeve is best known for playing Superman, and suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident in 1995.