Microsoft Teams is getting a major upgrade to its accessibility tools that will make the video conferencing platform better for more users.
In a Microsoft blog post (opens in a new tab) Accessibility Architect Chris Sano announced the creation of “a best-in-class experience for the deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) community” on Teams.
Sano, who is deaf himself, is on a mission to make the platform more accessible, and the first version – Sign Language View – is now ready and looking to change the way D/HH users engage with Microsoft Teams to ask for the better.
Team Sign Language View
When needed, video feeds for up to two sign language interpreters are kept in one consistent location so that D/HH meeting participants can drop right into the call. Video chunks are also designed to be optimally shaped and sized, and will automatically stream at the highest possible quality.
In its commitment to listening to customer feedback, Microsoft has made the sign language view preference “sticky,” so there’s no need to reapply any settings for each call.
According to Sano, you can also “predetermine a set of preferred signers that you regularly work with within your organization—for example, your regular interpreters (or, for interpreters, your regular clients).” There is also an option to Captions are turned on by default for all meetings.
Sano asks D/HH customers to continue to provide feedback through the Help menu within Teams, or call the US Help Desk to communicate directly using ASL.
It’s expected to launch “within the next few weeks,” which is in line with the company’s route map (opens in a new tab) Note that it will be fully listed in December 2022.Now, a version of Sign Language View has been rolled out to Public Preview Program (opens in a new tab) On a per user basis, so you can do that too.