Blog: Accessibility in Microsoft Teams
Accessibility features in Microsoft Teams

breaking down the language barrier

There are more than one billion people with disabilities in the world, and in order to deliver on their mission of empowering every person to achieve more, Microsoft has made accessibility a priority. Accessibility is important in the modern workplace, and remote work, hybrid work, and in-office work all pose different challenges. Acquiring accessibility in the workplace requires a diverse set of tools and proper guidance on how to utilize them. One of the most crucial tools for any modern organization is Microsoft Teams. Most people view Teams as a messaging app, but it’s much more than just that. Microsoft Teams hosts a variety of tools that can help your organization be more productive, efficient, and most importantly, accessible and provides a powerful platform for workplace collaboration that helps businesses and organizations do more with less.

Here are some features in Microsoft Teams that can help your organization promote accessibility:

Breaking Down Language Barriers

•  Sign Language View introduces a new meeting experience for Teams users who are deaf or hard of hearing. The view option allows those who use sign language to prioritize each other in the meeting view, enabling them to streamline communication without the rest of the meeting disrupting their participation.
•  Live Captions in Teams is another feature that enables greater accessibility through communication. Teams meetings are able to generate real-time captions of what’s said in a Teams meeting, enabling meeting participants to read what is said and who said it.
•  Live Translated Captions are currently available to all Teams users, but will soon be an exclusive feature of Microsoft Teams Premium. The feature extends the functionality of Live Captions. While Live Captions only allows users to read the captions in the language it was spoken in, Live Translated Captions allow users to read captions in their native language or any of the other listed languages.
•  Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams allows you to hear posts, chats, and other content in Microsoft Teams. The Immersive Reader feature is simple to use by hovering over a message, clicking the ellipses, and then clicking Immersive Reader in the menu.

Making Your Content More Accessible

A lot of Microsoft 365 apps include an Accessibility Checker that allows you to track accessibility issues and suggests fixes. The Accessibility Checker scans your document for possible problems and flags warnings, errors, and tips for enhancing accessibility. Utilizing the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft 365 can help you ensure that your documents are accessible before you share them through Teams.

Tips & Tools Everyone Should Know

•  Magnifying your screen can be a helpful way to see content that might appear too small and difficult to see. Utilizing the magnifier tool is simple, just press the Windows key and the plus sign (+) to zoom in and press the Windows key and the minus sign (-) to zoom out.
•  Meeting Recordings can be helpful for employees with poor internet access and those who have a cognitive disability that makes focusing on a meeting hard. Meeting recordings can allow anyone to review the recording at their own pace and focus on things they may have missed.
•  Keyboard Shortcuts can be a helpful way to cut down the time when utilizing Microsoft Teams. Shortcuts can help you speed up the process of accomplishing dozens of small tasks from answering a Teams call to opening your calendar.

FSi Strategies can help you leverage the accessibility features that are available in Microsoft Teams in order to increase accessibility throughout your organization. With over 20 years of experience, FSi Strategies is dedicated to nurturing an inclusive and diverse culture, and accessibility is a big part of inclusion. Our experts are ready to help you learn how you can utilize accessibility features in Microsoft Teams to ensure that you can take your organization to the next level. Contact us today to get started.

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