First ‘smart centre’ for blind veterans in the UK
Blind Veterans UK has unveiled a new ‘smart’ system at its centre of wellbeing in Llandudno, Wales.
(Blind Veterans UK and Amazon staff join blind veteran Jules (right) at the launch.)
The system, called Alexa Smart Properties, has been installed by Amazon and Solution Provider Vocala. And the devices give veterans more independence and staff new ways to communicate.
By asking Alexa blind veterans can gain:
– Orientation: Self-orientate within any area of the Centre. This includes getting from point A to point B and locating objects within a specific room.
– Access to information: Find information such as what’s for lunch, fire safety procedures, and access news on the charity and its history.
– Access to services: Find out what events are scheduled and listen to the radio.
(Blind veteran Jules using Alexa)
When someone loses their sight, their world shrinks and the things one might take for granted are no longer possible.
Blind veterans UK provides rehabilitation, training and support in order to illustrate that everyday tasks are still possible.
Staying connected with friends and family, up-to-date with news and current affairs, stimulated by interaction, and being part of the community within which they live, are all examples of the barriers which result in people living with sight loss feeling isolated and vulnerable.
Harnessing technology has always been part of the Blind Veterans UK ethos and the charity’s Smart Centre, powered by Alexa Smart Properties, will further enhance blind veterans’ experiences, and help them lead inclusive, independent, and fulfilling lives.
Kathy Boardman, Blind Veterans UK Llandudno Centre Manager, shared:
Having identified the need to make our centres truly centres of excellence, including in technological advancement, we reached out to Amazon Web Services to find solutions. We’re very excited to have Alexa as an integral part of the team at our Centres for Wellbeing.
Blind Veterans UK is a Veterans’ Gateway Referral Partner.