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‘Adopt an Alexa’ trial launches

British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) is looking for people in North-East England to ‘adopt an Alexa’. The charity calling for volunteers as part of a trial exploring the benefits of smart speakers for people with sight loss. 

Photo of Amazon's Alexa smart speaker on display on a table with a plant in the foreground
BWBF is giving people in the North East a chance to ‘adopt an Alexa’ as part of a new trial exploring how people with sight loss use this kind of technology.

People taking part in the trial will receive a free Alexa. The charity will then monitor how participants adapt to their new device. The charity hopes the trial will reveal how people with sight loss use smart speakers, barriers they face and support that could help more people adopt the technology. 

BWBF is a national charity dedicated to bringing the joy of audio to people with sight loss. Since 1928, the charity has provided free radios and audio devices for blind or partially sighted people. 

The results of the trial will help the charity to shape potential new nationwide projects to give more people with sight loss access to, and support with, smart speakers. 

Helping more people with sight loss reap the benefits of smart speakers

Steve Poole, BWBF’s Regional Development Manager for Northern England, said:

“Alexa has become so ubiquitous, it might seem like there’s one in every home. But we know that many people with sight loss aren’t adopting this technology. For some, the barriers might be financial. For others, setting up the device using instructions designed for sighted people can be daunting. Or, particularly for older generations, it might boil down to uncertainty about taking the leap to emerging technologies. 

“We know that smart speakers have the potential to help people stay connected in a world that can be hard to navigate for people with sight loss. We hope this project will help more people to reap the benefits.” 

Anyone living with sight loss in the North East of England can get in touch to take part. Volunteers will need internet access and should have, or be willing to set up, an Amazon account. Participants can keep their new Alexa at the end of the project. 

People who want to ‘adopt an Alexa’ should contact Steven Poole on or by calling 07969 038084.