While my friends are all isolated in quarantine because of #covid19, I’d like to show you people how best to do audio and video chats. Professional meetings have already got much attention, but the world not be a lonely place.
For a blind person, being alone is tough, so what can you do to stave off the loneliness with your loved ones? Here’s a few things I personally use for both personal and professional things, but note that Zoom is going to be used for my Denver women’s chorus rehearsals. Were going to check in with each other on Zoom, and then there’s FaceTime, Skype, and Discord.
1. FaceTime comes with all apple devices, Macs included. Mac and iPhone lovers rejoice. I love FaceTime, even with the app not on the phone you can still use it and it is closely integrated with your phone’s contacts if your loved one has an iPhone or Apple device. To access the Facetime features, I’d make sure you have a friend with FaceTime capability with an I device or apple thing like a watch or Mac, then make sure the camera is pointed at you when you are ready, and then, assuming you have been presentable, press the button that says “facetime”, and away it goes. Alternatively, if you’re a bit camera shy, use the audio button in your loved one’s contact entry in your phonebook. That should do.
2. Skype is a fun way to do groups and solo calls. There is a way to do conferences, but for blind people, it’s a bit odd and cumbersome, at least from my experience. I love Skype, but I usually do solo calls on this one because of the difficulty in just inviting folks into a group. In its heyday, Skype had usernames, but now you need a Microsoft account or phone number to participate.
3. Zoom cloud meetings is amazingly accessible, and Jonathan Mosen’s book Meet Me Accessibly describes just how to, well, meet someone accessibly with Zoom. Mr. Mosen is the author of this book, and during this time, it’s free. Check it out at http://www.mosen.org and please check out some of his other books as well.
4. Discord is a chat client that uses audio and video, and btw, you can do servers for free on this. I would highly recommend this one for text and audio chats, and gaming discussions. I have a discord server, but won’t be publishing the link here.
5. There’s also TeamSpeak and TeamTalk, both good clients, but there is a slight cost to either the client, iOS and android, or the servers, TeamTalk. For those of you doing groups and stuff, FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom all do groups. Did I forget to mention Duo by Google? It works on Google Nest and home products too.
Please stay safe and take care of each other as they say in the NBC nightly closing.