Skype: a Different World for the Blind

All of us know what Skype is. It is a very well-known internet telephony program for internet calls and cheap phone calls and SMS. You can use both video and audio to make free internet calls through PCs. I myself remember that I used the very early versions of Skype when we had to reinter the contacts every time after formatting our computer.

Skype for the blind is more than just making calls. Skype is a whole community to connect the blind individuals all over the world. It is a platform for education, entertainment, socialization, knowing new people, and even dating. As for education, blind Skype users were able to use the conferencing program features to give educational lectures, share information about latest technologies, or teach foreign languages. The listeners to the lecture can ask questions and give comment if needed, and they also can record the session for future usage or re-sharing through the internet. I can’t forget that lady who voluntarily helped me study geometry for an international exam on Skype, and save the cost of hiring a paid teacher to do the job.
Concerning the entertainment, sharing music composition, singing, poetry reading, exchanging recorded radio programs and shows are some of the top entertainment activities done using Skype audio conferencing features.
Once, a sighted friend of mine told me “you know all the blind people all over the world because of Skype.” Although she was exaggerating, she made it clear that Skype is a wonderful tool for the blind individuals to socialize and meet new people. Because of mobility limitation, travel costs, or being overseas, it is difficult to connect those friends together; however, they can talk for hours on daily basis. They can share their happy or painful moments and experiences without worrying too much about face to face communication or meeting. With the introduction of the video features, like other individuals, blind users were able to connect with their families overseas. Since Skype is that very successful for socializing and for meeting new people, it is a tool for dating and marriage used to know more the qualities of their potential partners. Many blind people don’t consider too much the physical appearance of their partner, so it is enough to like the voice, or to know the qualities of that partner through extensive conversations before taking more steps forward in the relationship.

For the blind, Skype is more than a program for making calls, it is a mean by which blind users can express their talents, solve a problem, or share information, and connect with more and more people all over the world.