Around the world, customers ask Alexa questions as part of their daily routines. Among those customers are many of the estimated 1 billion people who live with disabilities globally. These customers use Alexa in a wide range of ways—to stay connected, independent, and entertained.
Every day we hear from customers with disabilities who tell us the ways, big and small, that Alexa makes a difference in their lives. From a mom in the United States who uses Alexa to create a sensory room for her son with autism, to a film director in France with spinal muscular dystrophy who utilizes Alexa to help him manage his day as he lives independently—customers all over the world are inventing and discovering new ways to incorporate Alexa into their lives.
Eileen, in the U.S., shared the many roles Alexa plays in her home as she raises her two young sons who have autism. Her sons, Charlie and Jude, have very different experiences with autism, and Eileen has found Alexa to be helpful to them both. For her son Charlie, Eileen set up a room in her home with Alexa to help stimulate his senses.
“It’s important to stimulate Charlie’s senses, so I got the idea to hook up a lava lamp to Alexa. He will walk over there and just start clapping his hands because he is happy.”
For Jude, Alexa has been a source of knowledge and curiosity, “I don’t always have answers to his questions, but thankfully Alexa does.”
Learn more about Eileen, Charlie, and Jude’s story, by watching their video.
Valerie, in Australia, received an Echo device as part of a smart speaker education program with Vision Australia. She took part in a weekly education program where participants learned how Alexa could be helpful for people who are blind or have low vision, allowing them to live more confidently and independently at home. The program highlighted the ways Alexa could be helpful every day, including guidance on using features like cooking timers, mealtime management reminders, and on-demand audio news to help folks feel more informed and connected to their local communities.
“The group situation provided lots of insights into the ways others were using the device, and everyone shared their experiences,” Valerie said. “One lady uses Alexa to check if she’s taken her medication. Another guy checks the football results. One lady even learned Italian! Alexa and this program have revolutionized my life. There are so many useful things I can do now that were just harder to do as a low-vision person.”
Edgar, in France, is a film director, but he told us he hadn’t always known that would be possible for him. Living with spinal muscular dystrophy, he felt it would be challenging to pursue his dream job. Today, Edgar is living independently in Paris as he sets up his own film production company, and Alexa helps him connect with his loved ones, manage his work day to day, and live independently.
“It was pretty hard at first to be sure that I could do what I wanted. I had a lot of doubts, actually, whether I was going to be able to do it all because it’s pretty rare for someone with my disease and a wheelchair to be able to really live alone. I’m rather reassured with Alexa.”
Amir, in India, was one of more than 2,000 students who were able to access Echo devices to support and enhance their learning during a time when in-person learning was challenging. Amir calls Alexa his “knowledgeable friend.”
This year, as Amir prepared for important exams, he followed his six-hour study schedule with Alexa by his side.
"Whether it was finding the length of the River Ganga, the types of triangles, or mysteries about space, I could turn to this friend for all the answers."
Learn more about Alexa’s Accessibility features and how other customers are incorporating Alexa into their lives. To share your own story, you can email us or tag us on Twitter or Instagram @alexa99 or #AlexaStories.