Verizon Forward for Good Accelerator: Disability Innovation.

By: Donna M Navedo Sexton
Manager-Corporate Communications

Advancing new technology built with, and for, the disability community.

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What is the Verizon Forward for Good Accelerator?

The Verizon Forward for Good Accelerator is part of Citizen Verizon, our business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement helping move the world forward for all. The mission of this program is to support start-ups that are developing solutions leveraging technology such as 5G, MEC, Big Data, AI & XR to drive meaningful impact. Each year, we address a specific challenge that aligns with our Citizen Verizon pillars — digital inclusion, climate justice and human prosperity. Our latest cohort will focus on disability innovation and how technology can drive greater inclusion and equity.

Disability Innovation

We partnered with the disability community to identify innovators with solutions that support a more inclusive world. Our selection committee included internal and external technology experts, disability experts and Verizon ADVANCE members.

As part of the program, each selected company receives technology coaching, expert mentorship, connections to potential partners and funders, and $50,000 in funding to help scale their solutions.

After an extensive review, we’re proud to announce our Forward for Good: Disability Innovation cohort companies:

  • Waymap: Developed an indoor and outdoor wayfinding application for people with visual impairments.
  • WearWorks: Developed a haptic wayfinding solution through a wearable wristband for people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • AppTek: Developed a universal captioning application for the deaf/hard of hearing community that can be personalized to each user's needs in more than 20 languages.
  • Imanyco: Created a live transcription technology for the deaf/hard of hearing community that clearly identifies individual speakers in group conversations.
  • Cognixion: Technologies for those with complex communication and/or motor disabilities to enable speech and enhance the ability to interact with their home environment.
  • Puffin Innovations: Mouth-operated device for those with complex disabilities that allows for hands-free connection between individuals and computers/phones/tablets.
  • Evolution Devices: Digital physical therapy device that gathers data on walking patterns and helps prevent falls for people with neurological impairments.

Click on the names of any of the companies above to learn more.

Want to get involved? We’re currently accepting applications for technology coaches to support the start-ups in advancing their technology over the course of the accelerator.

We’re also looking for mentors to share their expertise with the start-ups in areas like marketing, product road mapping, financial modeling and customer discovery.

As always, you can help champion disability inclusion through the Citizen Verizon Volunteers Portal. All of these activities contribute to our goal of completing 2.5 M volunteer hours by 2025.

V Team, go to VZWeb to join the conversation

About the author:

Donna is part of the Corporate Employee Communications team, focused on our socially responsible business practices through Citizen Verizon's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives and the Women's CoLab.

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