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Video-Calling Platforms and Accessibility

Below you will find a list of the most commonly used video-calling platforms. Now more than ever, workplaces are using these platforms for their team meetings, one to one chats, staff training and other informal settings.

If you have graduates with disabilities who have particular access requirements, it’s important that you are familiar with the accessibility of these platforms and the different features it offers to people with disabilities which may also benefit all staff!

Click on the dropdown to reveal what features and accessibility features each has. 

 Microsoft Teams

Features

  • Predominantly an instant messaging based system which has the ability to set up group or team specific chats.
  • Video and voice calling either one-to-one or with a group of people.
  • Collaborate in real time
  • Different add-ons which includes planners, Word, Excel, Trello etc.
  • Sharing files and screen-sharing and using a whiteboard function.
  • Only displays up to 9 participants videos during a meeting.

Accessibility Features

  • Easy to navigate interface with clearly labelled elements and meeting controls
  • Auto-generated live captioning
  • Ability to pin (or enlarge) speaker’s video.
  • Ability to record meetings
  • Options to attract attention such as raise a hand

 Zoom

Features

  • Video and voice calling either one-to-one or with a group of people.
  • Waiting room and registration for meetings can be enabled.
  • Chat function during meetings, some file sharing, screen sharing and polls.
  • With a paid account, you can create breakout rooms within a large meeting.
  • Webinar feature for large meetings with Q&A and chat features.
  • Live broadcasting to Facebook and YouTube available.

Accessibility Features

  • Clearly labelled meeting controls. For users who are reliant on screen-reading software, it is at present the most accessible meeting platform
  • Options to attract attention such as raise a hand, go faster, slower etc.
  • You can assign people or get a third party provider to caption a meeting or webinar
  • Ability to pin (or enlarge) speaker’s video during a meeting format.
  • Multiple ways of display group meetings including a side-by-side mode when viewing screen-share presentations. 
  • Ability to record meetings and webinars

 WebEx

Features

  • Video and voice calling either one-to-one or with a group of people.
  • Chat function and screensharing during meetings.
  • Waiting Room function and live streaming available
  • Webinar feature for large meetings with Q&A and polls.
  • With a paid account, you can create breakout rooms within a large meeting.

Accessibility Features

  • Easy for those who do not have the app to join
  • Clearly labelled meeting controls
  • Options to attract attention such as raise a hand
  • Auto-generated live captioning
  • Ability to record meetings and webinars
  • Not compatible with all screen readers

 Google Meet

Features

  • Anyone with a Gmail account can use and join a meeting
  • No downloading and no time limit (until September 2020)
  • Predominantly an instant messaging based system which has the ability to set up one to one or team voice/video calling. 
  • Chat function and screensharing during meetings.

Accessibility Features

  • Easy to navigate interface with clearly labelled elements and meeting controls
  • Options to attract attention such as raise a hand
  • Auto-generated live captioning
  • Ability to pin (or enlarge) speaker’s video during a meeting format.
  • Multiple ways of display group meetings.

Skype for Business

Features

  • Predominantly an instant messaging based system which has the ability to set up one to one or team voice/video calling. 
  • Can produce Q&As and polls
  • Real time translator into different languages
  • Remote support – you can take control of participant’s screen

Accessibility Features

  • Easy for those who do not have the app to join
  • Easy to navigate interface with clearly labelled elements and meeting controls
  • Options to attract attention such as raise a hand
  • Auto-generated live captioning
  • Ability to record meetings and webinars

 

Watch our WAMinar: Microsoft Teams and Zoom

Watch back on our May WAMinar where Stuart Lawlor from Sight and Sound Technology gave an overview of Microsoft Teams and Zoom and their accessibility features. 

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