About the Blind Foundation skill

If you have trouble reading print, you can now use the Blind Foundation skill to access our audio library. With over 17,000 titles, including books and magazines, the Blind Foundation will have an audio title you would be interested in. Just ask Alexa to find, list or start a book or magazine title or to randomly select one for you.

Skill requirements

To use the skill, you will need to be registered for the Blind Foundation services, 18+ years old, and have an Amazon account before you can access the audio library. Once you are registered the skill can only be accessed from within NZ.

If you are new to the Blind Foundation and do not have an Amazon account, please call 0800 24 33 33 or email info@blindfoundation.org.nz  to register or get support with creating your Amazon account.

Please note when creating a new Amazon account, it’s preferable to create it on www.amazon.com.au

How does the skill work?

The section below offers a few quick tips on how to navigate through the skill and which commands to use. When you start the skill, Alexa will ask whether you would like to resume from the last title. You can always search for a specific title, author or keyword or tell Alexa to surprise you with a random book or magazine. Increase or decrease the volume, skip to previous or next titles. Try some of these commands:

To launch the skill:

  • Alexa, start Blind Foundation, or
  • Alexa, open Blind Foundation

While in the skill:

  • Find (title) by (author)
  • List books by (author)
  • Continue last book
  • Continue last magazine
  • Change, skip level to (from 1 to 6)
  • What magazines do you have?
  • How many books do you have?
  • How many magazines do you have?
  • Tutorial
  • Help
  • Surprise me
  • Shortcuts
  • Repeat
  • Stop
  • Cancel

While listening to an audio book/ magazine:

  • Resume
  • Volume (1- 10)
  • Next
  • Previous
  • Pause
  • Stop
  • Cancel (takes you back to main menu)

FAQ’s

What is an Alexa skill?

Alexa skill is like an app. It is Amazons’ voice activated service accessed through an Amazon Echo or Dot smart speakers. For more information on the skill please visit Amazon’s Alexa Page

How to access to the Blind Foundation Alexa skill?

To have access to the Blind Foundation skill, the user needs to be a Blind Foundation registered member, 18+ years old and needs to provide the Contact Center team with their valid Amazon email address.

If you are new to the Blind Foundation and do not have an Amazon account, please call our Contact Centre team on 0800 24 33 33 or email info@blindfoundation.org.nz  to register or get support with creating your Amazon account. Once you are registered the skill can only be accessed from within NZ.

How much is an Alexa device and where can I buy it from?

Alexa can be purchased at local electronic retailers and online on www.amazon.com.au.

Amazon Echo approximately costs NZ $179.

Amazon Dot approximately costs NZ $59.

Is Alexa spying on me? Is Alexa recording all the time?

No, Alexa is in sleep mode until you wake her up by saying “Alexa”. After you wake her up, your command is being processed and Alexa will reply accordingly to your request.

Does listening to audiobooks with Alexa use internet data?

Yes. It is very similar to streaming audiobooks using Booklink on your smartphone application.

Can I unplug Alexa and move it to another room? Will I lose my settings?

Yes, you can move Alexa around the house and No, you will not lose your settings.

Can I change the volume without pressing buttons?

Yes, you can say “Alexa, volume up” or “Alexa, volume down”. There are 10 volume levels, where 1 is the quietest and 10 the loudest. You can also say “Alexa, volume 5”.