Microsoft has made it easier for users of its Microsoft Teams video conferencing platform to use sign language with a new meeting experience called Sign Language Display.
The feature allows users to prioritize up to two videos from other participants so that they remain visible and in a consistent location throughout the meeting.
in blog post(Opens in a new window)Chris Sanu, Accessibility Engineer at Microsoft Team, said the feature is “a first step towards meeting the many requests from the deaf and hard of hearing community.”
Like pinning and commenting, the feature doesn’t affect what others see in the meeting, and when the selected people’s video feeds are enabled, they’ll remain visible if their video is enabled. Sign language display also allows participants to be pinned or highlighted without intruding or obscuring the sign language interpreter.
This feature ensures that the signer will always prioritize high-quality, higher-volume video streams for unspecified call participants, even when someone is sharing content in the meeting or sharing their screen, for example.
The move also means that users will no longer have to specify settings for each meeting: in the new accessibility pane in the Settings menu, sign language display can be enabled by default in all meetings. Users can also pre-select a preferred set of signers from regular performers so that captions are set as the default in meetings.
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Sign Language View and New Accessibility Pane Now Available to Test Public Preview(Opens in a new window). This can be enabled on a personal basis if the user’s organization has enabled it. Microsoft said the features will be rolling out to Teams for desktop customers and web for commercial and GCC customers in the coming weeks.
Also in September Zoom updated(Opens in a new window) Its accessibility software for deaf and hard of hearing users. The platform allows meeting and webinar hosts to designate multiple attendees as sign language channel interpreters, and attendees can choose which sign language translation they see.
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