Amazon Echo obviously has many purposes, and one of them happens to be setting timers – whether it’s for laundry, baking something in the oven, reading or for various other activities. Now, setting a timer is easy – all you have to do is say “Alexa, set timer for (however many) minutes”, and Alexa immediately starts counting down. At the end of the countdown, the timer goes off. This is great for anyone who can hear the timer going off, but what about deaf people who wouldn’t be able to hear Alexa’s notifications?

There is a way to “hear” Alexa’s timer go off if there are smart bulb(s) in the house. Using IFTTT, they can set the bulbs to blink when Alexa’s timer goes off so they get a visual notification.

Let’s see how it’s done, and how it works in this video below.


For this to work, that person still needs to tell Alexa to start the timer, and end the timer. However, what if the person using it doesn’t speak, or has a speech impediment?

This is where we use iOS’s accessibility feature “Speak Selection” to speak out sentences on behalf of the user. You turn on this feature by going into Settings->General->Accessibility->Speech->Speak Selection.

The setting Speak Selection seen selected under Settings->General->Accessibility->Speech on an iPhone 6s with iOS 10.

Once on, if you have some words or sentences typed in a note, you will get an option to “Speak” it after selecting it.

the option "Speak" appears when a sentence is selected in a note on an iOS device.

Let’s see how this works.


In conclusion, a combination of IFTTT and iOS’s “Speak Selection” accessibility feature can help people with hearing and speech impairment interact with Alexa, and get their tasks done!


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