Alexa smart speaker – She’s wonderful

25 November 2020

Client Stories

An Alexa-enabled speaker on table

Ruth McClay, 92, recently joined the Blind Low Vision NZ family and tells us about her experience meeting Alexa.

How did you hear about Alexa?

Just after I became a client, Otto, my Primary Service Provider came to do an assessment. He said “I want to introduce someone into your life called Alexa – she’s wonderful!” I already had a computer and iPhone so I was ready to go. Otto left Alexa with me as well as a set of instructions.  My son in law helped to set up Alexa initially then Diana from the Blind Low Vision NZ library team came and that made a big difference. I am tempted to have a conversation with Alexa – she has such a nice voice and I like to chat.

What do you most enjoy about Alexa?

I haven’t had her long and I am getting used to her (Alexa).The other day I called a friend on my landline and mentioned Alexa – the next thing I know Alexa hears me mention her name and thinks I am giving her a command. Alexa then calls my friend on her mobile – it was funny but very confusing for my friend.

I am using Alexa to listen to the radio and I have had some books that were recommended to me from the Blind Low Vision NZ library.

For me the best thing is being able to use Alexa when I go to bed. I just call Alexa and get her to put on RNZ National radio and turn it off when I want to go to sleep. It’s also useful to be able to switch from the radio to a book without getting out of bed.

What are you reading?

I am currently reading a book by University of Auckland historian Russell Stone  – As it Was: Growing up in Grey Lynn and Ponsonby between the wars – it’s fascinating – we all know what Ponsonby is like now so really interesting to read how it was then.

What advice do you have for anyone like you who is thinking about getting an Alexa?

My advice would to be to take small steps and concentrate on learning one thing at a time. For example getting Alexa to set your alarm. Once you have that then move on to the next thing. The important thing is to keep at it – I know it’s going to take me longer. I’m older I accept that, we can’t know it all at once.

If you’re a client of Blind Low Vision NZ – you can get an Alexa too:

Many hundreds of Blind Low Vision NZ clients like Ruth are enjoying their Alexa’s. They’re listening to books, news and music radio stations, setting reminders, timers and so much more, simply by using their voice.

Alexa speakers are compact, easy to set-up, and provided at no cost to you thanks to the generosity of Blind Low Vision NZ donors and great support from the Ministry of Social Development.

Please call Blind Low Vision NZ to find out more and set up your Alexa today!

Call your friendly client services team on 0800 24 33 33 or email us at Have you ordered your Alexa yet?


Next :

Hmm, no more results were found, click here to return to all "Our Stories".