Removing Barriers with Amazon Alexa

Over the past few years, powerful voice controlled devices and assistive technologies have become a part of everyday life, both at work and at home. These devices are proving to be pivotal in breaking down barriers for individuals with accessibility challenges.  I have been trialing the Amazon Alexa within my home over the past few months, and have been pleasantly surprised with the practicality of applying the technology to support my own physical barriers. 

Amazon Alexa has proven to be a powerful addition across all areas of life, helping with accessibility challenges and communication barriers.

Office desk with computer and assistive technologies

For those of us living with severe physical disabilities, we often find ourselves in situations where the task at hand  looks near enough impossible, requiring us to call for help. Over the years I have fallen from my wheelchair and been unable to call for help, leaving me stranded for several hours. It is impossible to ensure that you will have your phone to hand to cover every eventuality, hence the beauty of voice activated devices.

Device integration is as easy 1, 2, 3.

The Amazon Alexa can be easily integrated into everyday life, featuring a customisable virtual assistant with an endless array of  skills. From ordering yourself a pizza delivery, checking out the latest weather report or playing trivia games, the Alexa can help you do it all. Having Alexa set up in multiple locations also gives you the ability to communicate with others throughout the home and/or workplace.

Having a device with voice controls, not only removes barriers for access, it can also opens our world to a pathway towards independence.  The pathway is long and it still has gutters and cracks in the road but with the introduction of powerful new devices and companies investing time and money into the development of these life changing technologies, people living with disabilities are encouraged to take a leap of faith and start placing our trust in these assistive technologies. With support and information readily available, individuals (and more importantly people like myself) will be encouraged to step a little further out of their comfort zone, learn new skills and set goals that were once only pipe dreams.

Posted on

March 1, 2021


Assistive Technology