How Alexa Benefits Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Written By Guest Blogger & App Reviewer Christopher Wright
Updated May 2021

Amazon Alexa Ball

Amazon Alexa and other voice assistant technologies offer benefits for everyone. However, they can be invaluable tools for those who are disabled. Many might say people are “just being lazy”. However, these people either have not used this technology extensively and/or do not realize the true value it can bring to daily life.

The first, and most obvious benefit is the voice input/output model for obtaining information. You speak your command, and receive immediate verbal confirmation. For someone who is blind, this is incredible! Using the power of voice, it is possible to check the weather, manage your calendar, set reminders, get definitions of words and/or learn how they are spelled, set alarms and timers, read information from Wikipedia, etc. Alexa‘s capabilities are always increasing, so this is an incredible technology. The future of computing may be driven by voice if advances and innovations in this space continue.

The other major advantage of this technology lies in the Smart Home market. If your house is equipped with Smart Home gadgets, you can use Alexa as a central hub to control everything. For example, you can do things like turn lights on or off which is especially useful for a totally blind person who may not know if the lights have been left on. Considering how cheap Echo Dots are, it is feasible that someone would put one in every single room of the house. This means no matter where you roam, you have access to lights, the thermostat, kitchen appliances like the stove or oven, etc. Smart Home tech has the potential to make many appliances that were previously very difficult or impossible to use for a blind person extremely easy and enjoyable to use.

The above is what is currently available today. There is no telling what might come about in the next 5 to 10 years, but one thing is certain. We are living in exciting times, and anything is possible. Stay tuned to this space for more exciting innovations!

Guest Blogger and BridgingApps Reviewer, Christopher is totally blind and uses all kinds of computer technology. He recently obtained his CompTIA A+ certification and is seeking a career in Information Technology. Christopher loves the seemingly endless possibilities technology such as the iPhone can provide when it comes to accessing information or communicating with other people. He is also a strong proponent of smart home technology, as it has the potential to level the playing field in terms of accessing information that most take for granted. He is very excited about future computer technology innovations.

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