It's our favourite collaboration platform and now Microsoft have made it even better with some great new accessibility options to improve your user experience.

 

Teams have recently rolled out some great new features that make using the platform even better. You can now hear chat messages and posts read aloud using Immersive Reader. 

How to launch Immersive Reader


Hover over a message with your cursor or if you are using a touch screen you can tap with your finger.
Select More options  More options icon , and then Immersive Reader Icon for Immersive Reader .
Immersive Reader will launch in full screen.


Select Immersive Reader from the More options menu.


 

Features

 

There are several options for how you would like to focus, from text being read aloud to highlighting and grammar options. Microsoft have made Teams accessibility a priority.

 

Hear your message read aloud

 

Selecting Play allows you to hear your messages read aloud, whilst simultaneously highlighting the text. Narration is from the start of the message unless you have selected a word,in which case the word will be read individually. 

 

Select Pause to stop narration.

 

Select Voice Options to change speed of narration and the characters voice amongst other options.

 

Immersive reader voice speed and gender

 

Text focus options  

 

Text Options can help you change the appearance of your messages and to  remove visual distractions and to help you focus on it's content.

 

Set Text Size, Spacing, Font, and Themes that best suit your needs. Font size, spacing between letters and words as well as background colour can all be adjusted.

Show Source Formatting retains formatting from the original message such as underlining or bolding so no critical information is lost.

 

Text options in Immersive Reader.

 

Speech and Grammar Options 


There are several options to help with speech and grammar;


Syllables designed to break words into syllables for easier understanding.


Nouns to highlight nouns in your document in purple.


Verbs to highlight verbs in your document in red.


Adjectives to highlight adjectives in your document in green.

 

Adverbs to highlight adverbs in your document in yellow.

Switch on Show labels to see the label underneath the highlighted parts of speech.

 

Grammar options in Immersive Reader

 

Translation

 

Whilst still in Beta, there is the option for Teams to Translate your documents and messages. This is found under Reading Options.

 

Translate options are found under the Picture Dictionary section.
Line Focus allows readers to narrow their focus to one, three or five lines of text at a time, highlighting these and darkening the rest of the background.

Line Focus interface
  • Live captions for meetings

     

    Teams can detect what is said in a meeting and present real-time captions. They can make meetings more inclusive to participants who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with different levels of language proficiency, and participants in loud places by giving them another way to follow along. 

     

    To use live captions in a meeting, go to your meeting controls and select More options (...) then click Turn on live captions.

     

    To get the most out of live captions there are some best practices to follow:

    • Speak clearly, slowly, and directly into the mic. As your distance from the mic increases, captions may become less accurate.

    • Avoid locations with background noise.

    • Avoid having multiple people speak at the same time.

    • Use the highest-quality Teams-certified equipment available to you.

    • Please note: live captions are not saved, is someone is speaking with an accent captions may be less accurate and obscenities will be starred out. 

     

    live captions in meetings  turn captions on and off

     


    Reduce visual distractions in the background

     

    Background Blur

    Users can control what appears behind them in a video conference - either blur the background or replace it entirely with an image of your choice. 

     

    You can change your background before a meeting starts by selecting Background effects Background settings . It's just to the right of the mic switch. Your background options will display on the right. Choose Blur to blur your background. You'll appear nice and clear while everything behind you is subtly concealed. You can also replace your background with one of the images provided, or with one of your own choosing. To use an image of your own, choose Add new and then select one to upload from your computer. Make sure it's a .JPG, .PNG, or .BMP file. Your new background will persist in all your meetings and calls until you change it again.

     

    To alter your background after you've already joined a meeting, go to your meeting controls and select More actions  More options button  > Show background effects. Select Blur to blur your background, or choose from the available images to replace it. To upload an image of your own, select Add new and pick a .JPG, .PNG, or .BMP file from your computer. You'll be able to preview your chosen background to see how it looks before you apply it. 

  •  

Zoom in and out

 

Use your keyboard or mouse to make the Teams interface bigger or smaller, using the same familiar controls you might already be using with your browser.

 

zoom in teams

 

 

 

Light, dark and high contrast views 

 

To see or change your Teams software settings, click your profile picture at the top of the app. You can change your picture, status, themes, app settings, notifications, or language, access keyboard shortcuts, and more.

 

To change your view, click your profile picture at the top of the app, then select Settings > General. In the Theme section, click High contrastDark or Default theme.

 

settings

 

 

Why Wavenet?

 

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TeamsLink gives your business the ability to easily hold online meetings, with your team, or even your customers and prospects no matter where you are. Even if you miss the meeting, have to leave early or have arrived late, you can easily listen to the meeting in your own time as Microsoft Teams can store the recording for you.

 

 

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