While I was going through the final edits on the manuscript for my new book, Parenting Pauses: Life as a Deaf Parent, my editor, Denise Bartlett, sent me an email about one paragraph in particular that caught her eye. She informed me that there is an app available to turn voicemail messages into actual print messages that users can read. I asked for more info about this and she gave me details, as well as how much this has helped her, a HEARING person! I was really excited to learn about this and checked it out. I decided on YouMail, but haven't been able to get it to work on my phone just yet. Hopefully, when I have more time, I can look into it and I hope I can get it set up on my phone. I still receive voicemail messages even to this day.
Here is the paragraph that was deleted:
"One thing that makes me feel this way about cell phones with texting ability is voicemail. I have received so many voicemail messages ever since I started using a cell phone, I swear I’ll need to go into therapy someday if they don’t stop. Of course I can’t use voicemail, because I can’t hear the messages! I have tried to figure out how to turn off voicemail or even block incoming messages, but that’s not possible as of yet. I have had to delete several voicemail messages. Unfortunately, a hearing person thinking they are calling another hearing person gets angry if I don’t return their calls then ends up leaving several voicemail messages one after the other on my phone. This has actually happened from one particular number and it’s always a headache deleting each new voice message after it comes in. Again, I tried to block that number, but no luck there."
Here is the revised paragraph:
"Voicemail used to be a problem for me, because of course I can’t hear any of the messages left on my phone. At first, I elected to just ignore these messages, since the person who was calling my phone obviously did not know me since they didn’t know I was deaf, so it was no big deal. But then I later learned that teachers, schools and even secretaries at doctor offices had tried to reach me through voicemail, all to no avail. After some time, I was informed of an app available for smartphones that turns voicemail messages into a text message, putting what the person said into words. What a wonderful innovation! I have yet to find one that suits my needs for my phone but I have been told that this particular app has been immensely helpful. I could see how it could be helpful to a deaf person receiving voicemail messages."
Check out Parenting Pauses: Life as a Deaf Parent here.