Microsoft’s new ‘Sign Language View’ feature makes Microsoft Teams meetings more accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing users.
The stated feature will allow two users or meeting participants to remain visible on screen in a specific location during the video conference.
Chris Sano, Microsoft Team’s Accessibility Architect, released a video describing the significance and benefits of the new feature, adding that it’s the “First step toward addressing several asks from the Deaf and hard of hearing community.”
Microsoft has also ensured that the signer will continue to have a high-quality video camera that is bigger than the video feeds, even if someone shares anything during the meeting:
Users will also no longer have to pick settings for each meeting: sign language view may now be switched on by default across all meetings under a new accessibility pane in the options menu. Users may also pre-identify a group of preferred signers who are also regular interpreters, and select captions as the default throughout meetings.
The new features are available for testing via Public preview, which users can enable if it is enabled in their organization. Microsoft noted that the feature would be available in the coming weeks to Teams desktop and web clients for business and GCC customers.