Smyrna Paralympian Matt Simpson Among USABA Sport Ambassadors Supported by Google

Matt Simpson wearing a number 7 jersey

Photo of Matt Simpson courtesy of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes

The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes submitted the following press release about a partnership with Google Pixel. Smyrna’s Matt Simpson, a Paralympic goalball champion, is one of the athletes participating in the program.

The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is proud to announce a collaboration with Google, naming Google Pixel as the organization’s official global technology partner. In 2024, Google Pixel will provide Pixel phones, watches, earbuds and tablets to athletes in the USABA Sport Ambassador Program, representing Paralympians and national team athletes from various sports, including goalball, blind soccer, track and field, and triathlon. This multi-sport group of athletes within the blind and visually impaired community will activate their new Pixel devices on an unlimited phone plan from Google Fi Wireless to stay connected from anywhere in the world as they compete across the country and abroad and share their personal stories and experiences during their training and everyday lives.

“We are thrilled to have a global technology leader such as Google supporting our sport ambassadors,” said USABA CEO Molly Quinn. “This collaboration will bolster USABA’s digital presence as we sculpt a future where every American experiencing vision loss can find opportunity for a healthier future through sport.”

As part of this collaboration, Google Pixel will help fans get closer to select American athletes named to the 2024 USABA Sports Ambassador Program. Among these ambassadors are five Paralympians with 11 Paralympic medals on their resumes. This includes five-time track and field Paralympic medalist Lex Gillette (Raleigh, N.C.) and goalball athletes; Mindy Cook (Columbus, Ohio), Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.), Tyler Merren (Greenville, Mich.) and Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.). They are joined by USA Blind Soccer National Team athletes Ricky Castaneda (Fort Worth, Texas) and Charles Catherine (Brooklyn, N.Y.), USA Goalball National Team athlete Christian King (Virginia Beach, Va.), goalball athlete Kevin Orcel (Elizabeth, N.J.), endurance athlete Jasmine Murrell (Plainfield, N.J.) and sighted guide Cheyenne Meyer (McKinney, Texas). 

Ambassadors were trained on Pixel’s accessibility features and participated in a collaborative design session. Throughout the partnership, the athletes will continue to collaborate with Google to offer feedback and insights on Pixel’s assistive technology, shaped by their personal experiences using the devices. This collaboration underscores Google’s commitment to building and designing with and for the disability community.

“I’m so excited to be a part of the partnership between USABA and Google Pixel,” said Gillette. “Technology has played a huge role in accessibility and this partnership allows me and the other sport ambassadors to weigh in on the accessibility features that exist within Google’s products. A huge focus will be centered around our insights and how those insights can help create even more access for Pixel users. I’m glad we have the chance to positively influence the future of technology.”

“Google Pixel continues to advocate for equity in sports, creating new opportunities for fans to get closer to their favorite athletes and helping increase visibility of sports that haven’t traditionally been in the limelight,” said Julia Cheney, Cultural Marketing Lead at Google. “We’re excited to continue this work with USABA, our first Paralympic sports organization, and show how technology can play a role in creating a more equitable world.”

About the USABA
Founded in 1976, the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes is a dual-mission organization proud to serve as the National Governing Body for the Paralympic team sports of goalball and blind soccer and providing sport and recreational opportunities for the blind and visually impaired community. USABA is a member organization of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and US Soccer. In addition to community outreach and grassroots work with athletes, coaches, and referees, USABA is committed to developing a comprehensive support system, fostering a culture of excellence, and ensuring athletes have the resources to compete in all levels of sport. Our commitment is to provide quality programming and enriching experiences for the blind and visually impaired. 

About Google Pixel 
Pixel is the only smartphone engineered by Google, bringing you the best of Google smarts on AndroidOS. Well known for their industry-leading cameras, Pixel phones are powerful and fast, and come in a variety of models to choose from. Our latest Pixel phones run on our custom Tensor G3 chip, which enables enhanced security capabilities and outstanding image transformation.