Now, more than ever, it is important for the stuttering community to connect, talk, and share. The uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus can cause feelings of isolation, greater stress, and higher anxiety. During our monthly in-person meetings, we can address these issues and how they relate to stuttering.

While we are temporarily unable to meet in-person, we can still use the internet to meet through video.

There are a variety of internet video conferencing tools we can use to connect screen-to-screen. Some tools are free with limitations on usage, while other tools charge a relatively low monthly fee.

The NSA is providing basic guidance on video conferencing tools you can use to host virtual monthly meetings. Ultimately, you will need to decide which tool works best for you and your Chapter.

BEST FREE OPTION

Google Hangouts

  • Host free video calls with up to 25 people on any device.
  • The host must have a Google account to start a Hangout.
  • People can join a Hangout without needing a Google account.
  • To join, the host will need to start a Hangout and then share the unique URL with Chapter members.
  • Link to start a Google Hangout: https://hangouts.google.com/

NOTE: For users planing to join using their smartphone or tablet, they will need to download the Google Hangouts app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

More info on using Google Hangouts

 

OTHER FREE OPTIONS

Skype

  • Host free video calls with up to 50 people on any device.
  • Everyone will need to download the free Skype app and create a Skype account.
  • The host must have a Skype account to start a video call.
  • Starting a group video call will require pre-work.

To get started:

NOTE: All participants will need to have created a Skype account, and the host will need to invite people to join the video either individually or from a group contact list created before the call.

More info on using Skype for group video chats


Zoom (free version)

  • For free Zoom video calls with 3 or more people on any device, time is limited to 40 minutes.
  • Unlimited time for Zoom video calls with 2 people.
  • The host must have a Zoom account to start a Zoom video call.
  • People can join a Zoom video call without needing a Zoom account.
  • The host can schedule a Zoom video call and send the details (time, day, URL) to participants.
  • To join a Zoom video call, people will be directed to download onto their device if they haven’t already installed Zoom.

To get started:

 

BEST LOW-COST OPTION

Zoom (pro version)

  • For a $14.99 monthly fee, you can host video calls with up to 100 people on any device with no time limits.
  • The host must have a Zoom account to start a Zoom video call.
  • People can join a Zoom video call without needing a Zoom account.
  • The host can schedule a Zoom video call and send the details (time, day, URL) to participants.
  • To join a Zoom video call, people will be directed to download onto their device if they haven’t already installed Zoom.

To get started:

NOTE: Chapters are responsible for any monthly fees connected to Zoom or any other paid video conferencing service. The NSA has outlined free options if Chapters are unable to use a paid service.

 

OTHER OPTIONS

Many people have access to video conferencing tools used for work purposes. Businesses routinely hold video conference calls for departments and group projects. A Chapter Leader or a member may have access to a video conference tool and would be willing to use it to host a virtual chapter meeting. Perhaps this option might work best for you.

Common video conferencing tools used for business include: GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, Bluejeans, Join.me, Microsoft Teams and many others.