Microsoft Teams rolls out feature for people with hearing loss

A few days ago, Microsoft launched a new option offering fun content to professionals on the collaborative communication platform. As a reminder, this is called “Games for Work”.

Microsoft Teams

The Redmond-headquartered firm has come back with a new feature that is described as a new sign language view. Intended for people with hearing loss, it should, according to the multinational, offer better adaptability to interpreters and hearing-impaired professionals. Also, it should be noted that said functionality is accompanied by a brand new preferences pane which brings together some essential buttons of the Teams application.

A tool that will be very useful for interpreters and hearing-impaired professionals

How to make the use of an application as accessible as possible to everyone? Microsoft seems to have solved this equation with the new accessibility feature in Teams. If it is not a revolution, it is nonetheless true a significant evolution on the application. Said feature will allow sign language users to select up to two videos from other participants.

This should allow them to access the videos of the sign language interpreters throughout the meeting. To take advantage of it, Teams users will simply have to activate this function during their meetings.

But the benefits of the new sign language view of Microsoft Teams will also be significant for sign language interpreters. For example, they can be assigned before the start of a meeting if they are part of the company. As for those who evolve externally, they can be assigned during the meeting, from the Accessibility tab in the application settings. Please note that Microsoft does not provide sign language interpreters on Teams.

Microsoft also announces a new Accessibility Preferences pane

For its online meeting platform, Microsoft is thinking big. In addition to the new accessibility feature that will facilitate the work of interpreters and the experience of hearing-impaired users on Teams, the company has thought about the redesign of the accessibility preference pane.

To put it simply, Microsoft has made access to basic settings even more fluid. The new component will, for example, allow its users to easily access, during calls, modifications such as the default activation of sign language display and the pre-identification of preferred interpreters. Similarly, sign language display and live captions can be quickly turned on or off from the new pane.

What is worth pointing out is that the sign language view will in no way affect what other participants will be able to see on the screen. This new sign language view and accessibility pane are available to try now. Hearing-impaired users can then personally activate it from their mobile application and at any time during a meeting.

It would still be necessary for the company to have activated it at first glance. For web customers, commercial customers, and GCC, Microsoft says the new features will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

Source: The Verge


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