Use a screen reader to make or receive a call in Skype for Business

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This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Skype for Business with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to make and receive audio calls in. Skype for Business automatically detects your devices, such as a headset, mic, and speakers. Before you make a call, make sure that you have an audio device connected to your computer. It’s also a good idea to check that your audio device is working properly, to make sure you’re all set.

Notes: 

In this topic

Keep audio volume constant when using Narrator

When Narrator is on, it by default reduces the volume of other audio sources. This causes the audio volume in Skype for Business calls and meetings to be difficult to hear.

  1. Press the Windows logo key. You hear: "Start Window. Search box editing." In the search box, type “narrator". The search results list opens.

  2. In the search results list, press the Down arrow key until you hear “Change Narrator settings,” and press Enter. You hear: “Settings window, On, Narrator toggle switch.”

  3. In the Narrator settings, press Tab until you hear: “On, Lower the volume of other apps when Narrator is running, toggle switch.”

  4. Press Spacebar. You hear: “Off, Lower the volume of other apps when Narrator is running.”

Make an audio call

  1. To move to the Contacts tab, press Ctrl+1. You hear: "Search input, editing, find someone or a room." Type the name of the contact you want to call. You hear: "Search results, pane updated." Press the Down arrow key to move to and through the search results list until you hear the correct contact name.

  2. To see more options for this contact, press Enter. An options menu opens.

  3. In the options menu, press Tab until you hear “Call <contact name>,” and then press Spacebar.

  4. When you hear “Skype Call,” press Enter. The Skype for Business window opens and you hear a ringing sound.

  5. After the call connects:

    • To mute or unmute your microphone, press Windows logo key+F4 or Tab until you hear “Microphone button,” and press Enter.

    • To put the call on hold, press Ctrl+Shift+H. You hear: "This call is on hold." To resume the call, press Ctrl+Shift+H or Tab until you hear "Resume Call button,” and press Enter.

    • To transfer the call, press Ctrl+Shift+T. This opens the contact picker during a peer-to-peer call.

      Note: Transferring calls feature is not available with the basic Skype for Business standalone plan or with all Office 365 subscriptions.

    • To display the dial pad, press Ctrl+Shift+D.

    • To select more call controls (Devices or Speaker volume), press Tab until you hear “Call Controls button,” and press Enter. Press Tab to move to an option, and press Enter.

    • To add video to the call, press Ctrl+Shift+Enter, or Tab until you hear “Video button,” and press Enter.

    • To add instant messaging to the call, press Tab until you hear “Off, IM pane button,” and press Enter.

    • To invite other contacts to join the call, press Alt+V or Tab until you hear “Invite More People button,” and press Enter. A new window opens with the focus on the edit field. Type in a name or use the Down arrow key to select a name on the list. Press Tab until you hear "OK button" and then press Enter.

    • To end the call, press Tab until you hear “Hang up,” and press Enter or press Alt+Q (works only in peer-to-peer calls, not in conference calls).

Answer an audio call

When a contact calls you, the Skype for Business notification window opens and you hear a ringing sound, and “Alert: Incoming Skype for Business Call from <caller name>. Press Windows+Shift+O to accept, Windows+Esc to decline.”

  • To answer the call, press Windows+Shift+O.

  • If you don’t want to accept the call, press Windows+Esc. This dismisses the call and sends it to voice mail, if available.

See also

Use a screen reader with Skype for Business to check voicemail

Keyboard shortcuts for Skype for Business

Get started using a screen reader with Skype for Business

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Skype for Business using accessibility features

Important: This section is a work in progress. Some of the content may be incomplete or inaccurate at this time. Please check back soon for the completed article. Thanks!

Skype for Business on Mac works with the built-in screen reader, VoiceOver. You can make and receive audio calls in Skype for Business by using the screen reader and keyboard shortcuts. Skype for Business automatically detects your devices, such as a headset, microphone, and speakers. Before you make a call, make sure that you have an audio device connected to your computer. It’s also a good idea to check that your audio device is working properly, to make sure you’re all set.

Note: This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Mac OS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide

In this topic

Make an audio call

  1. Start Skype for Business and sign in if necessary. The Skype for Business window opens in Contacts view. To select the Search for Contacts box, press Tab repeatedly.

  2. In the Search for Contacts box, type a name, IM address, or phone number. As you type, search results are listed.

  3. Press the Down arrow key and then Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to select the contact list. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the name of the person you want to call.

  4. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to select the contact.

  5. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the contact card. Press the Right arrow key repeatedly until you hear “Call button,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the Skype for Business Call menu.

  6. Press the Down arrow key to select Skype for Business Call, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to make the call.

  7. To end the call, press the Right arrow key repeatedly, until you hear “Hang up button.” Press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Receive an audio call

When someone is calling you, you hear: “Incoming call.” Press the Right arrow key repeatedly until you hear “Answer button.” To select the button, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Mute your microphone

To mute your microphone, while in a call that you made or received, press the Right arrow key repeatedly until you hear “Mute button.” To select the button, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

See also

Skype for Business accessibility for people with disabilities

Keyboard shortcuts in Skype for Business

Mac accessibility shortcuts

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