The national sight loss charity British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) has today launched its ‘Talking Newspaper’ Alexa Skill following successful beta testing during lockdown.
The life changing new Skill has been made possible thanks to a Scottish Government and National Lottery Community Fund Community Recovery grant of £50,485 secured by Cue and Review Recording Service in partnership with BWBF. Cue and Review is a voluntary service which transcribes print magazines and newspapers into audio format.
The Talking Newspaper Skill brings together all Cue and Review titles, Scottish newspapers and magazines as well as a range of other newspapers and magazines across the UK in an accessible format for anyone who is visually or reading impaired.
Those using the Alexa Skill can ask for any talking newspaper or talking magazine simply by saying the name used on the BWBF smartphone app. BWBF is also working to expand the functionality of the skill to include geographies and regions, to make it easier to find desired titles and is actively soliciting feedback from users following months of beta testing.
The Technology Project Manager, David Beard said, “Talking newspapers and magazines really are a lifeline for those who are visually or reading impaired. We have been working on the Skill since January with Cue and Review and beta testers and are delighted to be in a position to now officially launch with Alexa devices, the most popular voice assistant in the UK.
“This Skill not only modernises the talking newspaper and magazine format, which is vitally important, it also makes them much more accessible to a much wider range of people. We hope to continue developing the skill and are gathering feedback from users to inform future updates.”
To find out more, visit: www.printtoaudio.co.uk.
Please note: Alexa Skill users are requested to visit the site and complete the ‘Skill Evaluation Online Form’ to provide feedback to help improve the Skill.