Google Funds Technologies That Improve Communication Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, is giving more than $20 million to groups in 13 countries to help develop technologies that increase independence for people with disabilities—including communication challenges. Google selected 29 projects from more than 1,000 applications, including: News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   July 01, 2016
Google Funds Technologies That Improve Communication
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Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Autism Spectrum / International & Global / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   July 01, 2016
Google Funds Technologies That Improve Communication
The ASHA Leader, July 2016, Vol. 21, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.21072016.12
The ASHA Leader, July 2016, Vol. 21, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.21072016.12
Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, is giving more than $20 million to groups in 13 countries to help develop technologies that increase independence for people with disabilities—including communication challenges.
Google selected 29 projects from more than 1,000 applications, including:
  • World Wide Hearing, based in Montreal, is developing an inexpensive tool for health workers to screen for hearing loss anywhere. In the two-year pilot program, World Wide Hearing expects to screen at least 10,000 people at risk for hearing loss. The technology has the potential to reach hundreds of millions more.

  • Ezer Mizion (Israel’s largest health support organization) and Click2Speak (creator of an on-screen keyboard) will pilot an affordable, easy-to-use and multilingual on-screen keyboard that allows users with impaired motor skills and high cognitive ability to communicate easily and quickly.

  • The Dan Marino Foundation is developing an interactive program to help people with autism prepare for job interviews in a comfortable setting that mimics an interview setting, recording feedback on body language, movement, voice intonation and eye contact.

  • Inclusion Without Borders, the nonprofit arm of Brasil-based Livox, is applying adaptive technology and natural language processing to existing augmentative and alternative communication software to make the technology more intuitive and responsive.

  • TDI is developing software to create easy access to low-cost, accurate captions for live events, enabling people who are deaf and hard of hearing to participate in a variety of events.

  • Beit Issie Shapiro (an organization in Israel that develops and provides treatment and services for children with disabilities and their families) will pilot a touch-free smartphone, created by Israel-based Sesame Enable, that can be operated by head movements for people with limited mobility.

  • The Canada-based Neil Squire Society is creating a mouth-controlled input controller that allows anyone with a mobility impairment to operate a mobile device.

  • APAE Brasil will adapt existing content on child development and Down syndrome into SMS text messaging programs to easily share information with families in Brazil, where family and societal marginalization and stigmatization of people with cognitive disabilities severely limits opportunities for education, employment and inclusion.

  • The Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled and the University of Washington are creating a system that maps the location and availability of assistive technology in 10 sub-Saharan African countries.

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July 2016
Volume 21, Issue 7