Skype – A guide for blind users

This is a recovered post from Blogger.
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Below we have put together a guide on the basics of using Skype:

Skype is available on BrailleNote Touch, BrailleNote Touch +, iPhones, iPads and laptop
Skype is an app that you can ue to call people and chat with them. You can have Skype chats and calls with jut one person or multiple people. You can join a Skype group that someone else created as a guest but your access will expire after 24 hours and you will have to join the group again so we recommend that you sign up or log in to a Microsoft account to have unlimited access to the group. That way, your written conversations will not expire/.appear after 24 hours, you can ue the direct message feature and you can create your own groups and calls.

Downloading Skype:
Skype is available for laptops, iOS devices, The BrailleNote Touch and BrailleNote Touch + and also other Android devices.

How to download Skype (for computers):
1. Go to skype.com/en/get-skype/download-skype-for-desktop
2. Click the Download button for your operating system.
3. Skype should download automatically. On a Mac, you may need to enter your password to install it.

How to download Skype (for iOS devices):
1. Open the App Store on your device.
2. Search for “Skype”
3. When the app comes up, click Get/Install
4. You may need to enter your Apple ID password, do Touch ID or get parental consent if you’re a child based on how your Apple ID is set up.
5. When it says “Downloading” Skype will now download and install automatically.

How to Download Skype (for Touch and Touch +):

1. Open the Play Store app from Main Menu.
2. Find the search box by pressing the letter S until it says Search for apps and games.
3. Type in Skype and press enter.
4. When the app comes up, Click Install. You may need to accept permissions so if an App permissions window appears, click Accept. On Touch +, you may need to accept these permissions (e.g. microphone and camera) once the app opens instead of before you thownload it.

Accessibility of Skype:
Skype is a tiny bit less accessible than Zoom, but still quite accessible. When you search for people on an iOS device, VoiceOver will keep announcing the number of people that match your search and I find this very tediou.
How is Skype different to Zoom?

The main difference between Skype and Zoom is that on Skype you can call people and on Zoom you need to give them a Meeting ID. Also, Skype needs you to sign up if you want to stop written messages expiring, to create groups and to ue private messaging and with Zoom you can access lots of features without an account.

Calling people with Skype:
Skype may request access to your contacts when you open the app/program. It is important to say Yes to this as you will then be able to see who in your contacts is on Skype and very quickly call them. But, if you’d prefer to keep your contact private and say No, you can still ue skype but you have to manually search for the people.

To find out which of your contacts are on Skype, click the Contacts tab and then look at the list of people that appears. These people are all your contacts who are on Skype. To call one of them, click on their name and then click Start call.
You can also click Send message to send a private message to them or click Create group with (name of contact) to quickly create a group with them.
Group calls:
Skype is a great free way to do group calls.
You first need to create a Skype group with the people you want to call.
To do this, Go to the chats tab in Skype, select the New conversation option and enter a group name and optionally set a profile picture for the group.

You can then click next and add people to your group. After that, click Create and the group will be created. After this, you can sent a link to people so they can join the group using the link. To do this, tap on the group’s name, select Share via link and turn on the Share group via link option that appears. Then, Copy the link or share it using another app like email, WhatsApp or Padlet.

After that, you can click start group call to call everyone in the group. People can also join the call once it has started by clicking the “Join call” option that will appear near the top of the Group page.

You can also send messages using Skype groups but I think WhatsApp is a better messaging platform as more people are on WhatsApp and WhatsApp more reliably notifies people of new messages so that people can respond quickly.
A big advantage of Skype calls is that you can do group calls with more than 4 people and that’s why my goalball club use it for their virtual socials every Snday evening.

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