Use a screen reader to read and reply to a meeting request in Outlook

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Use Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to read and respond to meeting requests in Outlook 2016. You can send quick responses straight from the Outlook Inbox message list, or open the request for more options, such as proposing a new meeting time.

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Reply to a meeting request from the Inbox message list

As meeting requests arrive to your Outlook Inbox folder, you can quickly accept, accept tentatively, or decline the meeting right there without having to open the request itself.

  1. In Outlook, navigate to your Inbox to find the meeting request. You can, for example, press Ctrl+Shift+I to go to your Inbox, and then use the Up and Down arrow keys to place the focus on the meeting request.

    If you want to hear the contents of the meeting request, press F6. The focus moves to the Reading pane. To move through the message, use the arrow keys. To move back to the meeting request in Inbox, press Shift+F6.

  2. Press Shift+F10. The context menu opens, and Narrator announces: “Context menu, menu.” In JAWS you hear: "Menu."To reply to the request, use the following shortcuts:

    • To accept, press C, C, and Enter.

    • To accept tentatively, press N, Enter.

    • To decline, press E.

  3. A Microsoft Outlook dialog opens with the focus on the OK button.

    • To edit the response before sending, press E, Enter. A Meeting Response email message opens, and the focus is in the message text field where you can type your response. When done, press Alt+S to send.

    • To send the response without editing, press S, Enter.

    • To choose not to send a response, press D, Enter.

    The selected action is carried out, the meeting invitation is deleted, and if accepted, the meeting is added to your Calendar.

Open and reply to a meeting request

To access all reply options, such as proposing a new meeting time, open the meeting request.

  1. In Outlook, go to Inbox and navigate to the meeting request. To open inbox, press, for example, Ctrl+Shift+I, and then use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate the Inbox items. When on the meeting request, press Enter to open it.

  2. The screen reader announces the title of the meeting request. Press Alt+H to go to the Meeting tab.

  3. To accept or decline, use the following shortcuts:

    • To accept, press C.

    • To accept tentatively, press J.

    • To decline, press N.

  4. When you hear “Menu, Edit the response before sending,” use the following shortcut keys to select your response:

    • To edit the response before sending, press E.

    • To send the response without editing, press S.

    • To choose not to send a response, press D.

    The selected action is carried out, the meeting invitation is deleted, and if accepted, the meeting is added to your Calendar.

Propose a new meeting time

  1. With the meeting request open in Outlook, press Alt+H to go to the Meeting tab.

  2. To accept tentatively and propose a new time, press P, T, T.

    To decline and propose a new time, press P, T, D.

  3. A Propose New Time dialog opens. To set the date and time you want to propose, press the Tab key until the screen reader announces the relevant field, such as "Meeting start date" or "Meeting start time," and type the new date or time (for example, "25Oct17" or "1230pm"). When done, press Alt+O.

  4. The dialog closes and a New Time Proposed email message opens. The current meeting time and the new time you are proposing are shown below the message subject field. The focus is in the message body text field where you can type any additional response. When ready to send, press Alt+S. The email is sent, and you return to Inbox.

Check who's invited to a meeting

Once you've accepted a meeting request, you can check who else has been invited.

  1. In Outlook, press Ctrl+2 to go to Calendar.

  2. The focus is on today. To move between the events, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab. When on the meeting you want, press Ctrl+O to open it.

  3. To go to Scheduling Assistant on the Meeting tab, press Alt+H, U.

  4. Narrator announces: "All attendees, <name of the meeting organizer>." In JAWS you hear: "List box, <name of the meeting organizer>." To hear the other invitees, press the Down arrow key.

Keep meeting requests in Inbox

Once accepted or declined, meeting requests are automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder. If you'd like to keep the meeting request emails in your Inbox, you can change the Outlook setting.

  1. In Outlook, press Alt+F, T to open the Outlook Options window.

  2. To go to options for Mail, press M.

  3. Press Alt+D twice. In Narrator you hear: "Send messages, checked, Delete meeting requests and notifications from Inbox after responding, checkbox." In JAWS you hear: "Delete meeting requests and notifications from Inbox after responding, checkbox checked."

  4. To remove the selection, press Spacebar. In Narrator, you hear: "Unchecked." In JAWS you hear: "Not checked." Press Enter to save the setting and close the dialog. You return to Outlook.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule a meeting in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessibility features

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.

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