Making video calling accessible

iOS & iPadOS

Hi there! I know this might seem like a very strange question to pose, but I have a lot of cited friends and family. I was wondering, does anyone know of an app or something that you can install on your phone to beep or to let you know if you are in The viewfinder or the cameras frame before you make a video call on WhatsApp or Messenger or whatever video app you want to use? As I said I know this might seem like a very strange question considering most of us have no vision or have very little vision. I hope I've explained myself properly. If anyone needs to ask me more about what I mean, don't hesitate to ask me more questions. I hope as I've already said that I've explained myself properly. I know that there is already an app out there you can get to help you take photographs. But I'm just wondering if there is an equivalent for video calling. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you very much



Submitted by Dawn on Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's be nice for me too! I have a lot of sighted family/friends too.And I video chat with them through mainly FaceTime and Messenger. For me, I usually rely on them to help me. I'll usually ask them if they can see me or whatever I'm holding up in front of the camera. And they direct me.

While I agree, to my knowledge, no such app exists. But FaceTime tells you which camera you're using. Like it'll say, `your video front facing`. I'd recommend until 1 app is made or found, that you rely on your sighted friends and family.

Submitted by Lauren on Sunday, May 28, 2017

In reply to by Dawn

That's a really good idea! I never thought of that! I think I'll have to do that for the time being. Until someone comes up with another solution. Thank you very much for your help. I really really appreciate it.

Submitted by Dawn on Sunday, May 28, 2017

You are welcome. Usually if you just ask, thy may surprise you by their graciousness and willingness to help.

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, May 28, 2017

Yeah, I think Facetime is your best bet for now. I've used Facetime a little bit and it seems to work great.

Submitted by JeffB on Sunday, May 28, 2017

I'm surprised that FaceTime doesn't do this. I would have thought if the camra app did that FaceTime would.

Submitted by Tree on Sunday, May 28, 2017

I think for the most part our best bet is to just ask the person we are talking to. I do this from time to time, and it seems to work ok; I don't think sighted people themselves would even always be perfectly centered in the view finder any way.

However, I think some alternative method could be interesting, and even necessary at times. For example, my wife, who is also blind, has had to use Skype before to do job interviews. That's not exactly the best time to have to ask the person your talking to if your in frame, especially since even bringing up the whole blind thing with potential employers should be done with tact and thoughtfulness. What my wife has done is to call a sighted friend or family member before the interview, and get their help to place her computer just right so that she will be in frame in her seat during the call.

Of course, this is an annoying process that takes time, help from a sighted friend, and works better with a computer then with a phone. If your using a phone perhaps you could prop it up with something, or buy a case with a kick stand. If you were able to do that you could try to set up the framing with be my eyes, or BeSpecular, before your call. You could even just use the built in camera app, which will tell you if your face is centered in the shot.

When it comes to ios I think some method like those mentioned above is going to be your best shot, because if you were using a third party video chat app the sighted person you were talking to would probably also have to use that app, unless one of the major video call providers, such as Skype or face book allows third party apps to call into their services.

I do think some option where your phone lightly vibrates or something when your face leaves the view finder during video calls would be interesting.

Submitted by Lauren on Sunday, May 28, 2017

I never thought of that! Yes, if your phone vibrated that would be a great idea. Sometimes, it can be quite embarrassing having to ask people. Especially for job interviews and the like. But I do understand, that we have to do this. I don't know if anyone else feels the same about this. Sometimes I try to avoid video chatting, because I don't like to ask if I'm in the viewfinder. But I know that I have to get over that. I would love to start doing more video chats. Especially with my fiance. Although, he would be quite happy to tell me if I'm in the viewfinder or not. Lol

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, July 7, 2017

Subject line pretty much says it all, and no I'm not talking about Apple's on-board screen magnifier. But I recently read about a 3rd-party app called Zoom, which has video-calling capabilities. Now that I think about it, I'm surprised I haven't read or heard about some sort of legal action on the part of Apple for the naming of this other app. I'm wondering if that'll happen or not. But I digress. I installed this 3rd-party app on my computer, and attempted to use it last night to call into a talk show on Mushroom FM. It didn't end up working, probably because of some setting. But I'm wondering if the app would be of any help here. Their website is .