While put into practice for our safety, this year’s social distancing measures have unfortunately placed a strain on families and friends across the globe. There is no replacement for baking cookies with your loved ones or celebrating with a little too much eggnog, but families are getting innovative by finding ways to virtually connect with one another this holiday season. But not everyone has the same ease of use when it comes to virtual communication.
For members of the deaf and hard of hearing community, social distancing measures have made remote communication a challenge. To make matters more difficult, many members of this community are senior citizens (XX percent of InnoCaption users are over the age of 65), and are considered some of the most at-risk and isolated if living in a more public space, such as an assisted care facility.
Experts warn that the winter weather will continue to drive the highest spike in COVID-19, and people are being told to continue quarantining to keep those most at-risk safe and healthy. As members of these communities face month nine of isolation, many grandparents and parents alike are experiencing a holiday season very different from years past.
To help make virtual communication easier, InnoCaption provides two real-time phone call captioning options to bridge the remote gap in communication and keep loved ones connected during the holiday season.
- Going mobile: When you’re at home alone, talking to friends and family should be as easy as picking up the phone. With InnoCaption, you are able to experience a seamless phone conversation where you can see what is being said in near-real time. Using your smartphone, you can call mom or grandma to ask for your favorite holiday cookie recipe simply by opening the app. You will get accurate captions wherever you are, no matter the time of day.
- Taking it to the big screen: Recently, InnoCaption introduced DeskView, a new feature that allows users to make calls from their cell phones and see the same captions mirrored on their desktop or laptop computer screen simultaneously. The DeskView portal also allows users to customize the caption screen color and display text in an extra large font for easy viewing – a feature Grandma or Grandpa might find particularly useful. By allowing our users to access the captions from a computer screen and give them more control over the font size, DeskView makes InnoCaption accessible to many in the low vision deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
When 56 percent of our users told us that phone call captioning mobile apps have helped them to stay in touch with others, and an additional 50 percent of both the youngest and oldest age groups (70+ and <30) indicated real-time captioning apps as helpful for staying in touch, we set out to bring these solutions to life for those who need it most.
While phone call captions can’t replace the same feeling as a hug from loved ones (although we wish it could), it’s our hope that this accessible technology can help bring those who are feeling isolated more comfort and joy, and enable them to have the sense of cheer we’ve all become so fond of this time of year. From the entire InnoCaption team, we hope that everyone enjoys a happy and safe holiday, staying connected to those they love most, no matter the circumstances.