Use a screen reader to privately message or chat in Microsoft Teams

Office Accessibility Center > Accessibility support for Microsoft Teams

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

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.

Using Microsoft Teams to chat with your contacts is simple with a screen reader. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

Notes: 

  • The procedures in this topic are documented using JAWS, but can also be performed with NVDA. For information about how to work with a specific screen reader, contact your assistive technology (AT) manufacturer.

  • The procedures in this topic are documented using the JAWS screen reader. For more information about JAWS, go to JAWS.

Start a conversation

  1. Press Alt+2 to open Chat. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear either "List box, favorite chats" (if you have saved some contacts as favorites) or "List box, recent chats."

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Alt+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Enter. You hear: "Selected, compose new message, edit."

  5. Type your message and press Enter. You hear: "Message sent."

  6. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

    Note: If you receive a message from someone else than the person you're currently chatting with, or if you receive a message while in another view, you hear "Alert," followed by the sender's name.

See also

Using Microsoft Teams on Mac to chat with your contacts is simple with a screen reader. You immediately hear an alert when someone replies to your message.

Notes: 

  • 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.

Start a conversation

  1. Press Option+2 to open Chat. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear "Horizontal splitter."

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Option+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Control+Option+Spacebar. You hear: "Compose new message, edit text."

  5. Type your message and press Enter. You hear: "Message sent."

  6. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

See also

Using Microsoft Teams on Mac to chat with your contacts is simple with VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for iOS. You immediately hear an alert when someone replies to your message.

Notes: 

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

Start a conversation

  1. Swipe left or right until you hear "Chat tab," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected, Chat tab." The list pane shows your recent conversations, if any.

  2. Swipe left until you hear "New chat button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Search for recipients, Search field." The New Chat window opens and the focus is on the To field.

  3. To search for a contact, swipe right until you hear the first character on the on-screen keyboard.

  4. To type your search words, slide one finger on the keyboard until you hear the character you want, and then double-tap the screen. The character is added in the To field.

  5. The search results are listed as you type. To go to the results, swipe left or right until you hear the contact name. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Type your message here," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Text field, is editing, insertion point at start."

  7. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard as instructed above.

  8. To send the message, swipe left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Notification, message sent successfully."

  9. When the person replies to your message, VoiceOver announces a new or an unread message.

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessible features

Using Microsoft Teams for Android to chat with your contacts is simple with TalkBack, the built-in screen reader for Android. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

Start a conversation

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Chat tab," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the first item in the recent conversations list that's shown in the list pane.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "New chat button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Edit box, To, Search for contacts here." The on-screen keyboard is shown in the bottom half of the screen.

  3. To type your search words, slide one finger on the bottom half of the screen until you hear a character you want, then lift your finger, and then double-tap the screen. The character is added in the To field.

  4. The search results are listed and announced as you type. The focus moves to the first search result. To move in the list, swipe left or right until you hear the contact name. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Type a message here, edit box," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard as instructed above.

  7. To send the message, swipe left or right until you hear "Send message button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Message sent successfully."

  8. When the person replies to your message, you hear: "Message received, showing items <number of the current item and its position in the list of items>."

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessible features

Using Microsoft Teams on the web to chat with your contacts is simple with a screen reader. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

Notes: 

  • The procedures in this topic are documented using the Microsoft Narrator screen reader and the Microsoft Edge browser. To learn more about Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

Start a conversation

  1. Press Alt+2 to open Chat. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear either "Favorite chats heading" (if you have saved some contacts as favorites) or "Recent chats."

  3. Press Down arrow until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Alt+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Enter. You hear: "Compose new message, editing."

  5. Type your message and press Enter. You hear: "Message sent."

  6. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

    Note: If you receive a message from someone other than the person you're currently chatting with, or if you receive a message while in another view, you hear the sender's name, followed by the text in the message.

See also

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