Smart home devices have proven to be life-changing for people with disabilities, enabling them to gain greater independence and control over their environment. Alexa, a wheelchair user, has been incorporating smart home technology throughout her home for several years. We had the privilege of visiting Alexa to see how she uses her devices.
In the video, Alexa Tells Us About Her Smart Home Devices And How She Uses Them, Alexa shares insights about her smart home setup with Susan Tachau, PATF’s former Chief Executive Officer.
Alexa has integrated various smart home devices into her living space. Her setup includes three smart speakers, smart lighting, smart plugs, a smart thermostat, smart door locks, and even smart window blinds. Alexa controls all her smart home devices through the Alexa app on her phone and via voice commands to her smart speaker. Using either option, she can open and close the front door, control the lights and ceiling fan, and adjust the blinds according to her preferences.
“I bought the Amazon Echo Dot [to make it easier] to get some help from my family. And if I need anything during the night while I’m in bed, I use the Dot as an intercom or phone to get their attention,” Alexa explains.
Alexa has three smart window blind panels in her living room. Her adorable dog, Chloe, has always been drawn to one of the window blind panels, causing damage. To address this, Alexa replaced the damaged panel with a new one and uses the Alexa app to set a specific stopping point, ensuring it remains out of Chloe’s reach.
When Alexa started installing smart devices, her first device was a smart speaker, specifically the Amazon Echo Dot. In the video, Alexa’s Smart Home: Alexa’s Advice is to Start Small, she makes some suggestions for devices, if you are just starting out.
Before going to bed, Alexa uses the Dot to set an alarm to remind her of things she may need during the night. With a simple voice command, such as “good night,” all the lights, fans, and TVs turn off, the window blinds come down, the thermostat adjusts, etc.
Alexa’s journey with smart home technology showcases the immense benefits these devices bring to individuals with disabilities. By incorporating smart home devices, people with disabilities can regain control over their environment, improve accessibility, and enhance their overall quality of life.