Google Nest gives 100,000 Home Minis to people living with paralysis

Google Nest is giving away 100,000 free Home Minis to people who are living with paralysis.

The company announced a partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Friday to provide the devices to paralyzed individuals as a way for them to be able to better control their environment as well as gain some additional independence.

It announced the partnership through a blog post written by Paralympic athlete Garrison Redd. Redd hopes to take home the gold for powerlifting during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. In his post, Redd details how he has specifically used the Mini in his day to day life for things like changing the temperature in his home, remembering his training schedule, and making grocery lists.

“Some of the greatest challenges and hurdles I face are at home,” Redd wrote in the blog post. “When you’re paralyzed, your home goes from being a place of comfort and security to a reminder of what you’ve lost. Light switches and thermostats are usually too high up on the wall and, if my phone falls on the floor, I may not be able to call a friend or family member if I need help.”

“These may seem like simple annoyances but, to members of the paralysis community, they reinforce the lack of control and limitations we often face,” he added.

Individuals living with paralysis can see if they’re eligible for a free Mini on the company’s website dedicated to the project. That site also features the stories of several other paralyzed individuals that have benefited from using Google Home.

The announcement comes on the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Google’s Home Mini is the most affordable speaker in the company’s lineup. The device can be connected to smart home devices and used for everything from controlling your thermostat to turning lights on and off. It can also play music and answer questions you might otherwise Google, among other features.

The Home Mini typically retails for $49; however, it routinely goes on sale for as low as $25 and is often offered as a “free” add-on when you purchase some smart home devices.

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