Alexa Skills for the Blind or Low Vision

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Assistive Technology

by Laurie Westling

Do you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show? Do you wonder what you can use it for besides asking the time or temperature and setting a timer? Did you know there are skills that you can enable that are specifically for the blind and low vision community? Today I will introduce you to some Alexa skills that you might enjoy.

“Blind Technology Trivia” by Jonathan Mosen - Alexa quizzes you on blindness technology trivia. Play on your own or with up to 4 players. See how high you can score. Three wrong questions, and you're out.
•    Invocation Name: blind technology trivia
•    Free to enable

“O and M Trivia” by APH – This is a fun way to learn and reinforce orientation and mobility knowledge for people of all ages! Cardinal directions, cane techniques, and landmarks are just a few of the topics covered within the game. Users can play alone or with up to three additional players. Scores are calculated automatically for friendly competition. Game settings also allow users to select appropriate difficulty levels.
•    Invocation Name: o. m. trivia
•    Free to enable

“The Braille Challenge” by iAccessibility - The Braille challenge is designed to educate those who are interested in braille by asking questions to test the user's knowledge of the English Braille code. Braille is the primary literary media. That allows people who are blind and visually impaired to read and communicate with others. Braille replaces printed text with raised dots on paper so that blind users can feel what is written on the page.
•    Invocation Name: the braille challenge
•    Free to enable

“Braille Dots” by iAccessibility - Alexa will ask you questions about braille. Try to get the most right answers in a single player or multi-player game. You will have questions on the history of braille, dot positions of the alphabet, and what certain contractions mean.
•    Invocation Name: braille dots
•    Free to enable

“NFB-NEWSLINE” by National Federation of the Blind of Maryland - NFB-NEWSLINE® is a free service available to anyone who is blind, has low vision, or is print-disabled. To use this skill, you must be a NFB-NEWSLINE® subscriber with a valid identification and security code. To learn more about NFB-NEWSLINE® and how you can sign up, visit www.nfbnewsline.org.
•    Invocation Name: national federation
•    Free to enable

“ACB Media” - Home for all things media related for the American Council of the Blind across multiple streams.
•    Invocation Name: a. c. b. media
•    Free to enable

“Bookshare Reader” (Beta) by Benetech - To use this skill you must be a Bookshare subscriber. Bookshare Reader lets you listen to audiobooks on any Alexa-enabled device. Read over a million books from the Bookshare library including bestsellers, new releases, novels, nonfiction, educational books, and more. When you are done reading, Bookshare Reader remembers your spot for next time and lets you adjust the reading speed to be faster or slower. To learn about Bookshare and how we make reading easier for people with visual impairments, physical disabilities, and learning disabilities like dyslexia, visit www.bookshare.org.
•    Invocation Name: bookshare reader
•    Free to enable

This is just a short list of the many skills available on your Amazon Echo devices. To find other skills, use your Amazon Alexa app, tap more, and then skills and games.  At the top of the screen there is a search area to help you find other Alexa skills to enable.  You can also use the Amazon.com website and search under the Alexa skills section.  If you have questions about enabling a skill or would like more information about any of skills mentioned above, please contact Laurie Westling at 701-795-2710 or lchaput@nd.gov or Tracy Wicken at 701-795-2720 or trwicken@nd.gov


 

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