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“ALEXA”: Amazon’s Alexa’s latest collaboration to support people living with sight loss

 

For those with vision impairment, voice activated technology like Amazon's Alexa is bringing them closer to a world where blind and partially sighted people are on a level playing field with their sighted peers. One of the latest technology functions launching this month on Alexa follows on from a collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The RNIB helpline helps people with sight loss, and those who support them, with a range of services. This includes advice on issues like employment, education and technology, and support to adapt to life with sight loss by way of peer support and counselling services.

The helpline is also able to provide callers with practical assistance around accessing information, adapting your home, and getting around within your community.

Customers who need the service simply need to say “Alexa, call RNIB helpline”. The helpline opening hours are Monday – Friday 8am-8pm; Saturday 9am – 1pm. Between these hours, a trained advisor will always answer your call.

The feature follows on from the recent launch of the Accessibility Hub, which outlines the numerous ways smart home devices and virtual assistants can help unlock new ways to get things done, from switching on kettles and lights to identifying store cupboard ingredients, turning everyday difficulties into effortless independence.

In addition to the “Call the RNIB Helpline” function, owners of Echo device also have access to other features such as Show & Tell, Speak Slower/Faster, Screen Magnifier, Voice View Screen Reader, and Alexa App Theming.


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