A woman speaks to a smart speaker while using a laptop in a kitchen.
Social Inclusion
Innovation Spotlight

Smart Assistant Technology Unlocks Reading

“Alexa, open Bookshare!” Soon Bookshare users will be able to read using an Alexa or Google Home smart speaker. Smart speakers’ intuitive voice only interface make it easy for people who may not have access or skills to use other technology options to navigate the internet. This is especially important for people with disabilities, who may encounter additional barriers, due to limited or complicated accessibility settings for other devices. 

Benetech’s new smart speaker skill will allow Bookshare users to select and listen to their books, magazines, and newspapers from Bookshare using a voice only interface. The skill will keep track of the items on a user’s “to be read list,” and reading progress, so that users can read and switch between multiple items with ease.