Google Assistant is a virtual assistant available on mobile and smart home devices. The assistant can manage your schedule, play entertainment, get quick directions and local weather and much more. But what about for those who have limited mobility in their hands or who want a more seamless non-verbal access to Google Assistant?
Action Blocks allows you to create a button on your phone home screen for any action that the Google Assistant can perform, like sending texts, making calls, controlling smart home devices or playing videos. Create the Action Block then choose an image for it from your photos or camera, and put it on your home screen for easy access.
The Action Blocks app is available on the Play Store, and works on Android devices on Android 5.0 and above.
While Google initially built Action Blocks for people with cognitive disabilities and age-related conditions, they’ve seen it be helpful for people with limited hand mobility or those who want a smoother non-verbal access to Google Assistant. Action Blocks can now also be used to communicate short phrases. It acts as an artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities. In addition, Action Blocks now incorporates thousands of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox, making it easier to use the Android app alongside existing speech therapy and special education materials. It also now supports Japanese, French, German, and Italian. Download Action Blocks on Google Play.
Google Accessibility Resources
- Contact the Google Disability Support team for 1:1 support: g.co/disabilitysupport
- Connect with a Google Accessibility community: goo.gle/a11y-community
- Get help from the Google Accessibility Help Center: g.co/help/accessibility
- Learn more about Google Accessibility products: google.com/accessibility
- Watch Google Accessibility videos on YouTube: g.co/A11yVideos
- Stay updated by reading the Google Accessibility blog: goo.gle/a11y-blog
- Follow the Google Accessibility team on Twitter: @googleaccess