Every time Jess uses Facetime, it reminds me of the Jetsons. As a child, I was intrigued with the idea of being able to see someone while talking on the phone. Now 50 years later, we have this capability in the palm of our hands and no one realizes what a big deal it is!
One change I’d make to this app would be to have the option to use a profile photo. I don’t feel pretty in the morning. Jane Jetson solved this by using a morning mask, but I’d rather have a set photo. Thank goodness, Jess has no image problems and this is not an issue for her, but I still think having screen saver photo would benefit the rest of us.
One of Jessie’s boy-friends lives in Minnesota. When he figured out FaceTime, she was one of the first people he called (I’m not sure if this is true, but we like to think it is). Positive peer pressure was what motivated Jess to figure out how to use the app herself.
Yesterday morning, Jess tried FaceTiming another friend. My guess is she wanted to thank her for the Christmas gifts she had received the night before. It’s moments like this that remind me how far Jess has come. Communication is something most people take for granted, but for us, it is such a life changing gift.
Jess has a dedicated speech device. This means, her iPad is only used for communication. Games, movies, podcasts and FaceTime are all accessed on an iPod. Presently, she can text and email on her Talker, but for her, this isn’t very effective. The visual on FaceTime makes it possible for Jess to have a “phone” conversation and is more rewarding than text. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t allow audio for phone calls. Just like I did with the Jetson’s phone, I’m fantasizing that Jess would have access to FaceTime on her AAC device.
Well, apparently I’m not alone. There’s a petition asking Apple to make an exception for AAC users. This option would greatly broaden Jess’s ability to communicate. Having access to FaceTime on her Talker would give Jess a way to contact me if she had an emergency. It’s important not to be completely dependent on others.
We are not trying to avoid the cost of a phone plan, we just want her to be able to use her AAC device to it’s fullest capacity.
If you can, please take a moment to sign the petition. Every form of communication makes Jessie and other AAC users world bigger!