Alexa skills blueprints. My thoughts.


 

Because I'm getting older, I don't have time to code everything by hand. I tried the free, Alexa skills blueprint site, where non-coders can create skills and now publish them to the skill store, but sadly, it was not an accessible experience. I'm gonna try to get ahold of Peter korn to let him know that the development back end is not accessible, but Anyway... I tried to create my own queer disabled short story. My blog is also now available as a flash briefing skill, and that, at least, was very accessible.

If you just want to create a simple text story, with no sounds or expressions or pauses or interactive elements, then creating a story based on the fairy tale skill blueprint is very accessible. All the bells and whistles are housed in sometimes clickable links at the top of the edit window. When I tried to create a story about a horse, having the player input their nameĀ  and adding sounds, the pop out menus that were supposed to gain focus did not gain focus or even show up all the time, using NVDA. When a miracle happens, and these menus do show up in chrome and or FF, the choices are a giant list of clickable text, that plays when a user hits enter on it. Your selection will be the last sound you played. When you hear a sound, or an expression you want, hit the add button at the bottom of the 128 or 200 item list. Reviewing what you have written works sometime, and you can move sounds and stuff around by cutting and pasting as you would in a regular document, but it's pot luck if any of the menus open. You can monitize these skill blueprints, which is a nice touch.
I get that Peter is a busy guy, but I just wish Amazon would treat accessibility like Microsoft does. I'll be emailing Amazon today because this could be great for indie authors who have a patreon or similar.

By the way, my Patreon podcast will not be going on the Alexa Skill store, but if anybody wants my podcast on their Alexa, and you are a supporter, I can share a private link with you that will allow you to listen to the skill on your own Alexa.

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