Online Learning: Accessibility
This page describes accessibility features of tools being used to deliver online lecturers and recordings. For general accessibility tools, please visit the Assistive Technologies page.
The most common video tools used in online learning are:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
Other tools are available but are not being used so much in FET
Microsoft Teams has a few accessibility features:
- Live captions - Teams can detect what's being said in a meeting and show real-time captions (subtitles). This is currently being rolled out, so it's not universally available and the only language available is US English right now. This feature uses Microsoft's Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology service.
- Magnification - you can make the view bigger or smaller by pressing Ctrl + (bigger) or Ctrl – (smaller) Pressing Ctrl 0 resets the view to the default size. This also works when someone is sharing their screen - you can zoom in or out of that.
- Dark and high contrast modes, which might suit your eyes better
- Voicemail speech to text, so that you can read your messages rather than listen to them
- TTY mode - if you have a TTY device, you can connect this to Teams
Zoom and Teams seem to be in direct competition which each other, which is good for users because both keep adding new features some of which help accessibility. Zoom has several accessibility options some of which are on the premium version only.
- Closed captioning (subtitles) Zoom can do this in two ways: a meeting participant can be assigned by the meeting host to type what is being said in real time or Zoom can use 3rd party subtitling services, but that's a little more complicated to set up.
- Keyboard shortcuts allow you to navigate Zoom and its setting without having to use a mouse
- Automatic transcripts - Transcripts are automatically generated and synchronised to make it easy to search and review meetings recordings.
- Screen Reader Support - Zoom is compatible with VoiceOver on iOS and OSX, Talkback on Android devices, and JAWS and NVDA for Windows platforms.
Meet is part of Google GSuite of productivity tools and its accessibility features are more those of GSuite's than of Meet itself.
- Live captions - display captions of the person speaking bit if you record a video meeting, captions are not recorded and don't appear when you play the recording.
- Screen readers and magnifiers - users who need these can use the built-in screen reader, full-page zoom, high-contrast colour, and accessibility extensions in the Google Chrome Browser.
- Keyboard shortcuts - you can control the camera and microphone and open accessibility features using the keyboard.
See the Links page for more information.