Alexa, a new skill with 22,000 audiobooks for the blind and visually impaired

The Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired presents “Libro in voce”

The Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired, the association that for over 100 years has been promoting equal rights throughout Italy to give light to blind, visually impaired and people with multiple disabilities, has announced the availability of the new Skill ‘Book in Voce’, created with the support of Amazon, available on all devices with Alexa integration. Members of the National Talking Book Center will have access to a library of over 22,000 audiobooks, including last century cult favorites such as Harry Potter and many great literary classics, such as Don Quixote de la Mancha and Le Petit Prince, also available in original language. To get started, it will be necessary to say “Alexa, open Book in Voice” and, through the Amazon voice assistant, the Skill will play the audiobooks. The contents, structured and made accessible to blind and visually impaired people through a special standard available only to the CNLP, will integrate with a great variety of commands. In fact, users will be able to search for specific books by author name and book title. They will also be able to move forward and backward by specific minutes or entire tracks, pause and then continue reading at their convenience, as well as add bookmarks to resume listening later and ask the Skill at what point in the reading it has arrived.

“Our commitment as the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired is confirmed and strengthened through this new Skill for Alexa which will allow hundreds and hundreds of blind and visually impaired readers to read and listen directly to our Talking Book works, a service which for almost seventy years allows access to reading to people who cannot enjoy reading through sight”, declared Mario Barbuto, President of the Union. “This skill is added to the Unione Digitale project that we have been developing for about two years thanks to the precious skills of our technicians and readers, the collaboration with very important partners such as Amazon, the support of the Italian Parliament which granted our Union a great credit of trust, approving the project of which this Skill is part, in December 2021 “, said Marino Attini, member of the National Directorate responsible for the project.

“Our promise to customers is to make Alexa ever smarter, more useful in their daily lives, and ever more accessible. When our devices and services become more accessible, they become better for everyone. After the first collaboration last year for the creation of ‘Edicola in Voce’ – the Skill through which UICI members can listen to the reading of 25 local and national newspapers and magazines for free through the voice of Alexa – we are very proud to having collaborated again with UICI on the ‘Libro in Voce’ skill, which gives access to a huge library, made up of over 22,000 audiobooks”, said Giacomo Costantini, Business Development Manager of Amazon Alexa. Thanks to this integrated system with the help of the Alexa voice assistant, the blind and visually impaired will be able to enjoy books such as: The Da Vinci Code; The Hobbit; Pride and Prejudice; The Alchemist; Ten Little Indians; The Snack Thief; The Name of The rose; The Baron Rampant; The Adventures of Pinocchio; You’re cat meat, Geronimo Stilton.