While technology has come a long way since then, there are still moments that remind me how much harder it can be for people like my parents to stay in touch and connect with the outside world. This past year, when staying close has been more difficult, accessibility has become more important — especially for my family. With the birth of my son Owen, my parents became grandparents for the first time. Being apart has been extra hard since they don’t want to miss a single milestone (big or small).
But technologies like Live Caption and captioning in Google Meet have helped us stay close in spite of the distance. Live Caption automatically adds captions to any audio on the videos we send to my parents, so they can follow all the chatter in the background. And as all of our family time happened on Google Meet last year, captioning helped us communicate more easily — especially when our hands were occupied with Owen. Distance is never easy, but we made it work. And this week, after 14 long months of quarantined virtual bonding, my parents finally got to see Owen in person.