Helping the Visually Impaired Read: 13 Amazon Alexa Techniques

Amazon Alexa is changing the way people read, even for those with vision impairments and print disabilities.

As someone who is visually impaired, I find it challenging to do quick reading outside of my work, especially when not using laptops or mobile devices with screen readers.

I started using Alexa for reading, and it has gradually become my go-to assistant for my reading needs.

How Amazon Alexa can help you read

Amazon Alexa makes reading easier for everyone, including those with vision or print challenges. It reads books aloud, explains words, manages reading lists, adjusts reading speed, and tracks your progress, all with simple voice commands.

As Alexa is available on all Amazon devices, you can seamlessly pick up where you left off, whether it’s on your mobile device, Amazon Echo, Kindle, or Fire Tablet. Alexa ensures your reading experience stays uninterrupted across your preferred devices.

Here, I’m sharing all the tips and strategies for reading using Amazon Alexa that I have learned to help you make the most of Alexa.

How Amazon Alexa Reads Kindle Books

To read Kindle books, simply say, ‘Alexa, read my Kindle books,’ and Alexa will start reading them for you. Some books are not available on Audible for listening, you might get it in Kindle format which you can read using Amazon echo and Alexa with voice commands.

Just ask Alexa to read a book. You can say something like, ‘Alexa, read ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” or ‘Alexa, read my latest book.’ Alexa will begin reading the book from where you left off or from the beginning if you’ve never opened it before.

While Alexa is reading, you can control the playback with your voice, using commands such as:

• ‘Alexa, next chapter.’

•’Alexa, previous chapter.’

•’Alexa, skip ahead 10 minutes.’

•’Alexa, go back 30 seconds.’

•’Alexa, pause.’

•’Alexa, resume.’

•’Alexa, stop.’

You can also adjust the reading speed and tone by saying things like, ‘Alexa, read faster,’ or ‘Alexa, read slower.’

Enable Kindle Assistive Reader in the Alexa app, navigate to More > Settings > Accessibility > Kindle Assistive Reader.

You can also read this Amazon article

How Alexa Reads and Plays Audible books

If you have an Audible subscription, you can ask Alexa to play your audiobooks by title, author, or even by narrator. For instance, I’ve been listening to a book recently, and I simply say, ‘Alexa, play ‘The Psychology of Money’ on Audible.’ Alexa will start reading from where I left off. If it’s a new book you purchased from Audible, it will start from the beginning. Audible audiobooks are narrated by professional narrators, and using Alexa, you can control the audiobook with your voice.

read this Audible article on Audible on the Amazon Alexa

How Alexa can help you read the news

Alexa can help you stay updated on the news from your favourite news provider. You can start by saying, ‘Alexa, play the news,’ or ‘Alexa, play the flash news.’ Alternatively, you can directly instruct Alexa by saying, ‘Alexa, play the news from Bloomberg,’ or ‘Alexa, play the finance news.’ Additionally, you can receive breaking news notifications from your preferred provider.

Read this Amazon article for more information.

How Amazon Alexa helps you read Article

You can have your top 20 saved articles from your active Pocket account read aloud. Simply say, ‘Alexa, ask Article Reader to read an article,’ or specify the article number, and she’ll start reading. However, I believe that the Article Reader skill still needs some improvements to be more useful for reading. Currently, it’s limited in the number of articles it can handle.

To make it work, you’ll need to link your active Pocket account in the Alexa app. Pocket is a great app for saving interesting articles, and with this skill, you can enjoy them audibly on your Alexa device or app. Alexa can also help you read articles from Reddit.

How Amazon Alexa Reads Bedtime Stories

Alexa’s ‘Bedtime Stories’ has been a helpful tool for me. I often struggled to fall asleep with my mind racing. But now, I simply listen to it. I just say, ‘Alexa, play Bedtime Stories,’ and it works effectively. It’s not just for kids; you can try it too.”

How Amazon Alexa Helps You Read poems

Just say, ‘Alexa, read me a poem,’ and Alexa will start reading a random poem from a library of thousands of poems. You can also have Alexa recite the same poem by saying, ‘recite the poem.'”

It can also be a valuable tool for those learning about poetry, as you can listen to different poems and styles to broaden your understanding of the art form.

How Amazon Alexa Reads Children’s Books.

Using Alexa on your Amazon Echo, you and your child can read together by saying ‘Alexa, let’s read.’

As your child reads, Alexa offers encouragement and helps with tricky words, boosting their reading confidence. If your child faces challenges, Alexa can switch to ‘read after me’ mode, helping children with their reading.

This feature is especially helpful for blind and visually impaired parents whose kids are learning to read.

How Amazon Alexa Reads Inspirational Quotes

Just say, ‘Alexa, open Inspirational Quotes,’ and Alexa will read an inspirational quote to you. It will also provide an option to read more by asking Alexa to fulfil your daily dose of quotes.

I use Alexa to read quotes and uplift my confidence when I feel low, as it requires little to no effort to do so.

How Amazon Alexa Reads Cooking Recipes

With Alexa’s help, reading cooking recipes is a breeze. Alexa finds recipes, reads them aloud, sets timers, and even offers tips. I used to struggle when it came to reading and following recipes, but now, thanks to Alexa, it’s much easier. Whether I’m cooking alone or with my family, Alexa ensures that I can easily access and understand the recipes, making the cooking experience more enjoyable and efficient.

How Alexa Reads Weather Updates

Just say ‘Alexa, what’s the weather today?’ and it will give you a quick weather update for your area. It’s like having a weatherman in your home! You can ask Alexa to read the current weather conditions, forecasts, and weather alerts.

How Amazon Alexa Reads Calendar Events

Amazon Alexa can help you read calendar events by telling you about your upcoming appointments and events. Just say, ‘Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?’ or ask for a specific date, and Alexa will read out the details of your scheduled events. It’s a convenient way to stay informed about your daily schedule.

How Amazon Alexa Reads Sports Scores

To read sports scores and news aloud to you. Simply ask, ‘Alexa, what’s the latest sports score?’ or ‘Alexa, tell me sports news.’ For people who are blind, this voice-activated feature makes it easy to access sports information without needing to read it visually.”

How Amazon Alexa Reads Wikipedia

To read Wikipedia articles, just say, ‘Alexa, Wikipedia [topic],’ and Alexa will explain the topic to you. This is handy if you want to learn about something without having to read it on your own.”

How Amazon Alexa Reads Emails

You can ask Alexa to read your emails out loud, find specific emails for you, and even manage your emails by archiving, deleting, or replying to them, all using voice commands. To begin, just link your email account to Alexa through the app. Keep in mind that Alexa currently works with Gmail and Microsoft Outlook accounts.”

Over to you:

I hope this guide has helped you understand how Amazon Alexa can assist you with reading. It’s a wise idea to utilize Alexa for your reading needs and to update your knowledge for personal growth.

Please share any additional tips on reading with Alexa that you would like to offer to others who are blind or visually impaired, making their reading journey easier. Feel free to share your tips in the comments below!

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For further reading, check out ’35 Ways Amazon Alexa Can Assist Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals

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