Why it matters: For those living with a physical disability that limits mobility, smart home devices are an entirely different story. Regaining even a small bit of independence is a real game-changer and can be incredibly empowering.

For most, voice activated smart home devices are little more than a modern convenience. Being able to turn the lights off or adjust the thermostat without having to get off the couch saves a couple seconds here or there but isn’t exactly life-changing.

In celebration of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which became law 29 years ago today, Google is partnering with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to provide up to 100,000 Google Home Minis to help people living with a physical disability, mobility challenge or paralysis.

The offering is the latest from Google that caters to the disability community. Already in 2019, Google has helped bring captions to conversations for people with hearing loss with Live Transcribe and is working to make the Google Assistant more accessible to people with limited or no speaking skills through Project DIVA.

Interested individuals and caregivers can submit a request for a free Google Home Mini over on the Google Nest website.

Masthead credit: Google Home Mini by CoinUp