Woman credits Google Glass for proving “Paralysis doesn’t have to be paralyzing”

google glass helps paralyzed woman experience life alex blaszczuk

When Alex Blaszczuk heard earlier this year that Google was planning on handing out a pre-launch version of its revolutionary Glass device to thousands of individuals in a move to test and develop the product, she wanted in.

To have a chance of being offered the wearable computer, Google set up a contest requesting individuals to submit ideas with the hashtag #ifihadglass.

Alex, who’s been paralyzed from the chest down since a car accident two years ago, knew exactly what she wanted to say.

I am a New Yorker, a law student, a quadriplegic. #ifihadglass I could finally capture my life on my own. I would show the world how to thrive with physical limitations in the most interesting city on the planet. With Glass, paralysis doesn’t have to be paralyzing.

Suitably impressed, Google offered Alex the Explorer edition of its device.

New possibilities

The proud owner recently posted a short video (below) showing how Google’s gadget has, in just a short time, helped to open up many new possibilities in her life and rebuild the confidence she lost in the wake of the accident. As Alex herself says, Glass means she can “do things I thought I wouldn’t be able to do anymore.”

Introducing the video, Google writes on its its YouTube page: “Meet Alex Blaszczuk: Google Glass Explorer, law student, and owner of a 20lb cat. In the fall of 2011, a car accident en route to a celebratory camping trip left Alex paralyzed from the chest down, unable to use her hands. Last month, Alex finally made it camping and shared her story through Glass.”

google glass camera

In a piece written for the Alex Blaszczuk Trust website, Alex describes her experiences with Glass and how it might aid others with a disability.

“On our whirlwind camping trip, and beyond, I have used Glass to take pictures, record videos, find directions, search for facts, and dictate emails and text messages,” she says. “I also have several times affirmatively answered the absurd question ‘are you calling me from your glasses?’ For me, this is all much easier (or possible) only with the voice-activated, hands-free device.”

She explains that while Glass doesn’t “fix” a disability, “it is a more accessible tool for self-expression.”

“For communities that are often silent, hidden, marginalized – like that of people with disabilities – these kinds of tools are essential. The more we enable people with disabilities to share their stories and passions, the more they become people, rather than tragic or heroic stereotypes.”

Alex’s account of her early experiences with Glass shows how for people in her situation the device could turn out to be of huge benefit, helping to restore independence and boost confidence. While the gadget is still viewed with a raised eyebrow in some quarters, her inspiring story indicates there could be much to look forward to when Glass hits the market next year.

Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in February, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s space observatory will map the sky with unprecedented detail

NASA is preparing to launch a cutting-edge space observatory to create the most detailed map ever produced of the sky. Doing so will involve surveying hundreds of millions of galaxies. Here's how it plans to do it.
Deals

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…
Mobile

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Mobile

Samsung’s wide range of Galaxy products means there’s something for everyone

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Deals

Amazon drops a sweet deal on the Kate Spade Scallop smartwatch for women

Unlike many other smartwatches geared toward women, the Kate Spade Scallop offers a more chic and minimalistic look. With this Amazon sale going on right now, you can get it for $109 off its retail price.
Cars

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.
Deals

The 5 best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…