Digital Accessibility – Zoom Updates Autumn 2020


Following on from our popular post about accessibility in videoconferencing and remote meetings, we are pleased to report that there have been updates to Zoom to add new access features.

Screencapture of the accessibility settings in zoom

Better Accessibility in Zoom

  1. Pin or Spotlight more than one video at a time.
    This will allow for Sign Language users to pin both the speaker and interpreter during a session. It’s worth being aware that only hosts or co-hosts can automatically multi-pin and only 9 people can access this feature in any one session. Check access requirements in advance so that you can make sure participants who need it have access to multi-pin. Hopefully in future Zoom updates this will be available to all, rather than needing to be enabled.
  2. Host can spotlight multiple users.
    This will be a useful feature for events with more than one speaker or interpreter, like panel discussions. It allows the host to Spotlight multiple people, therefore streamlining the Gallery View. This is likely to be more accessible as it will be less overwhelming to follow visually and will mean interpreters are visible alongside multiple speakers.
  3. Improved Screen Reader interface.
    This will mean a better experience for visually impaired users.
  4. Customise text sizes.
    You can adjust the size of both captions and the chat text in the accessibility settings.
  5. Improved keyboard control.
    Keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys can be useful to remove a number of disabling barriers.Some useful access keyboard shortcuts are:
  • Toggle the “Always show meeting controls” option in Settings/Accessibility
    Windows: Alt
    macOS: Ctrl + \
  • Navigate among Zoom popup windows/toolbars
    Windows: F6
    macOS: CMD + ~
  • Change focus to Zoom meeting controls (at the top when sharing your screen at the bottom when not sharing)
    Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Shift
    macOS: CMD + ~

Zoom say: To ensure full keyboard support within the desktop meeting client, the toolbar must be set to not automatically hide. This can be accomplished by unchecking the “Always show meeting controls” under the “Accessibility” section of the desktop application Settings, or in the “In-meeting (basic)” section of the web portal Settings. This may be also be accomplished on a per-meeting basis using the “Toggle the ‘Always show meeting controls’ option in Settings/Accessibility” keyboard shortcut. Please see below for a list of other important navigational keyboard shortcuts.

More keyboard shortcuts are available on the Zoom website.

Read more about Digital Accessibility

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