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Assistive Technology Spotlight: Amazon Echo

By: Taylor Heine, Community Relations Specialist

Many of you are probably familiar with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and may have even scored a killer deal on the dynamic bluetooth speaker during the 2016 holiday season! Today, I am highlighting the Amazon Echo because of the numerous benefits and assistive capabilities this innovative device offers for people with disabilities.

Here are 5 Fun Ways To Utilize Your Amazon Echo provided by Easter Seals Assistive Technology 1. Ask My Buddy The free application allows users to alert contacts and call for help when he/she experiences a fall or needs assistance. To activate the service, users can say, "Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert (contact name), or "Alexa, ask My Buddy to everyone. The feature provides users with the opportunity to live independently. 2. Control Your Smart Home The Amazon Echo pairs with smart home appliances such as thermostats, switches, lights, outlets, locks and so much more! Once your Echo device has been paired, you have the ability to send voice commands. For instance, you can direct Alexa to turn on your light by simply stating, "Alexa, turn on the lights". Explore additional smart home solutions by selecting the provided link.

3. Listen to Audiobooks with Audible Echo also provides fun entertainment options for people with visual impairments or limited reading ability. The application, Audible allows users to listen to books available in their personal library. Audible can be purchased for $14.95/month. Begin your 30-day free trial today!

Command Recommendations:

  • Alexa, play audiobook (Title of book).

  • Hey Alexa, go to Chapter 2.

  • Alexa, set a 30-minute sleep timer.

  • Alexa, read louder.

4. Verbally AAC AppVerbally provides augmentative-alternative communication (AAC) compatible with Amazon Echo devices. The application allows an individual that may be unable to speak to communicate with friends and family members. Verbally identifies commonly used words or phrases and organizes them to make Echo commands available at the tap of a button!

5. Control Your TV with Logitech Harmony Amazon Echo has the ability to control your TV with the application, Logitech Harmony. Pair Alexa with any Logitech Harmony product to access to cable channels, broadcasting networks, and video streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix. Learn more about the product and how to activate Harmony by selecting the provided link.

To access the original article or explore assistive technology devices, click here.

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