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. 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 to add people to your contacts in Skype for Business

Use a screen reader to join an online meeting in Skype for Business

Keyboard shortcuts in Skype for Business

Basic tasks 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 accessible features

Use Skype for Business for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to make and receive audio calls. Skype for Business for Mac 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.

Notes: 

In this topic

Make an audio call

  1. Start Skype for Business for Mac 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.

See also

Use a screen reader to add people to your contacts in Skype for Business

Use a screen reader to join an online meeting in Skype for Business

Keyboard shortcuts in Skype for Business

Basic tasks 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 accessible features

Use Skype for Business with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to make and receive audio calls.

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

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

In this topic

Make an audio call

  1. Open Skype for Business and sign in if necessary. Your start screen appears, containing the search box for contacts in your company directory, upcoming appointments, and recent conversations.

    Tip: If you did not sign out of Skype for Business the last time you used it, the app opens without prompting you to sign in. For sign-in help, refer to Basic tasks using a screen reader with Skype for Business.

  2. To go to the Contacts view, swipe right or left until you hear "Contacts button," and then double-tap the screen. The Contacts view opens listing your contacts and contact lists (for example, Favorites).

    Note: If you want to call someone who's not in your Contacts list, you can search for them in the start screen using the Search for contacts search box. To learn how to look for a contact, refer to Search for a contact and open their contact card. To learn how to add someone to your Contacts list, refer to Use a screen reader to add people to your contacts in Skype for Business .

  3. To browse the lists in the Contacts view, swipe right or left until you hear the name of the list containing the contact you want to call. VoiceOver announces the list names as you move. To open a list, double-tap the screen.

    Note: Your Favorites list is open by default.

  4. To browse the contacts within a list, swipe right or left until you hear the contact you want to call. VoiceOver announces the contact names and their status as you move. When on the contact you want to call, double-tap the screen to open the conversation screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Call." Double-tap the screen to make the call. The focus moves to the call screen.

  6. To end the call, in the call screen, swipe right until you hear "Hang up button," and then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to the conversation screen and you hear: "Call ended."

Receive an audio call

When a contact calls you, a notification opens on your screen, and you hear the caller’s name.

  • To answer the call, double-tap the screen.

  • To decline the call, swipe left until you hear "Decline button," and then double-tap the screen.

    Note: If your phone is locked when someone calls you, press the Sleep/Wake button to ignore the call.

Mute your microphone

To mute your microphone, while in a call that you made or received, swipe right or left until you hear “Call unmuted button,” and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to add people to your contacts in Skype for Business

Use a screen reader to join an online meeting in Skype for Business

Basic tasks 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 accessible features

Use Skype for Business for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to make and receive audio calls.

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

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

In this topic

Make a call

  1. Open Skype for Business for Android and sign in if necessary. Your start screen appears, containing the search box for contacts in your company directory, upcoming appointments, and recent conversations.

    Tip: If you did not sign out of Skype for Business the last time you used it, the app opens without prompting you to sign in. For sign-in help, refer to Basic tasks using a screen reader with Skype for Business.

  2. To go to the Contacts view, swipe right or left until you hear "View contacts and contact management screen," and then double-tap the screen. The Contacts view opens listing your contacts and contact lists (for example, Favorites).

    Note: If you want to call someone who's not in your Contacts list, you can search for them in the start screen using the Search in the company directory search box. To learn how to look for a contact, and add someone to your Contacts list, refer to Use a screen reader to add people to your contacts in Skype for Business.

  3. To browse the lists in the Contacts view, swipe right or left until you hear the name of the list containing the contact you want to call. TalkBack announces the list names as you move. If a list is closed, you hear "Button collapsed," and the list name. To open a list, double-tap the screen.

    Note: Your Favorites list is open by default.

  4. To browse the contacts within a list, swipe right or left until you hear the contact you want to call. TalkBack announces the contact names and their status as you move. When on the contact you want to call, double-tap the screen to open their contact card.

  5. Swipe right until you hear: "Audio call button." Double-tap the screen to make the call. The focus moves to the call screen.

  6. To end the call, in the call screen, swipe right until you hear "End call button," and then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to the conversation screen and you hear: "Call ended." To move back to the start screen, swipe left until you hear "Go back," and then double-tap the screen.

Receive an audio call

When a contact calls you, a notification opens on your screen, and you hear: "Incoming audio call from <caller's name>."

  • To answer the call, swipe right until you hear "Accept audio call button," and then double-tap the screen.

  • To decline the call, swipe right until you hear "Ignore button," and then double-tap the screen.

Mute your microphone

To mute your microphone, while in a call that you made or received, swipe right or left until you hear “Not checked mute toggle switch,” and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "On."

See also

Use a screen reader to add people to your contacts in Skype for Business

Use a screen reader to join an online meeting in Skype for Business

Basic tasks 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 accessible 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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