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Free Alexa scheme launches

People living with sight loss in the UK can from today apply for a free Alexa device, under a new scheme from sight loss charity British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF). 

The ability to control Alexa by voice and without buttons or on-screen controls makes it a fantastic option for people living with sight loss who want to access audio entertainment and information. But, according to BWBF, many people they support are not yet using this technology.

A white, rectangular Amazon Echo Show. The display screen shows a picture of a man running, next to the words Jack Ryan.

Free devices & personal support

The charity has teamed up with digital accessibility charity AbilityNet to ensure that people using the scheme have the help they need to set up and familiarise themselves with their new device. 

Sophie Jones, British Wireless for the Blind Fund Chief Executive, said:

“For lots of us, Alexa is already like a member of the family. But, despite the obvious advantages for someone living with sight loss, we know that many aren’t benefitting from this technology. This could be down to the cost of buying a smart speaker, or barriers using these devices.  

“We believe no one living with sight loss should miss out on the audio experiences others might take for granted. By offering these devices for free and teaming up with AbilityNet to ensure the support is there to get started, we can help people living with sight loss embrace all that Alexa has to offer.” 

Chris Grant, Community Relationship Officer for AbilityNet, said:

“We know that true digital accessibility is possible when the right technology comes together with the right support and guidance. Our network of community-based volunteers helps people use all kinds of digital technology. We are thrilled to support BWBF’s new Alexa scheme, and help more people reap the benefits we know this technology can offer for someone living with sight loss.” 

Who can get a free Alexa device?

People with sight loss in the UK can apply for a free Echo Show or Echo Dot device from BWBF. To get a device, you need to be in receipt of certain disability or income-related benefits and have an internet connection at home. Support to set up an Amazon account and activate their device will be available from AbilityNet if needed. 

Browse our devices or apply for a free Alexa device for yourself or on behalf of someone else.