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

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, 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: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Skype for Business.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Complete guide to Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

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 go to the Search for Contacts box, press the Tab key 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 Tab 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 the Tab key repeatedly until you hear “Call, button.”

  5. To open the Skype for Business Call menu, press Spacebar. You hear: "Menu, <the number of items>."

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

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

Answer an audio call

When someone is calling you, you hear: “Incoming call.” Press Control+Option+Right arrow key repeatedly until you hear “Answer.” 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 Control+Option+Right arrow key repeatedly until you hear “Mute.” 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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • 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."

Answer 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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • 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.

Answer an audio call

  1. When a contact calls you, a notification opens on your screen in Skype for Business, and you hear: "Incoming audio call." Swipe right, and you hear “Incoming call from,” and the caller’s name.

  2. You can either answer or decline the call:

    • To answer the call, swipe right repeatedly to move the focus to the Accept audio call button and double-tap the screen. Your call connects.

      To end the call, swipe right to move the focus to the End call button and double-tap the screen. You hear: “Call ended.”

    • To decline the call, swipe right repeatedly to move the focus to the Ignore button and double-tap the screen. The name of the caller is added to your Recent list on the main screen of Skype for Business.

Select options on a call

When your call connects, the Skype for Business for Android call screen contains the following controls, from top to bottom and left to right:

  • At the top of the screen are the Back button, the person(s) on the call, duration of the call, and the Chat button.

    Back button takes you to the previous screen. When the focus is on the button, you hear: “Go back.”

    Chat button opens the chat window for instant messaging. When the focus is on the button, you hear: “Chat button.”

  • On the upper row, there are the Video, Mute, and Audio buttons.

    Video button activates video on the call so your recipient can see you. When the focus is on the button, you hear: “Not checked, preview video is off, switch.”

    Mute button turns your microphone on or off. You can still hear the other party, but they can’t hear you. When your microphone is muted, you hear: “Checked, audio is muted, switch.” When your microphone is not muted (the default setting), you hear: “Not checked, audio is unmuted, switch.”

    Audio button turns the speaker on or off. When it’s on, you hear “Checked, speaker, switch.” When it’s off, you hear: “Not checked, speaker, switch.”

  • On the middle row, there are the Add, Dialpad, and More buttons.

    Add button lets you invite others to join the call. When the focus is on the button, you hear: “Add participants, button.” In the screen that opens you can search for people and move through a list of recent contacts.

    Dialpad button opens the number pad that you can use to interact with an automated phone system, to enter a code, or to make a menu selection, for example. You hear: “View dialpad and voicemail button.” (If you don’t have this option, your organization might not offer voicemail for your Skype for Business for Android calls.) To return to your call screen, swipe left repeatedly to move the focus to the Close button in the top-left corner of the screen. When on the button, you hear: “Double-tap to activate.” Double-tap the screen.

    More button opens a menu containing Transfer Call and Hold options. When the focus is on the More button, you hear: “More options, button.” You can transfer the call to another person or number. Putting a call on hold suspends the call without ending it. Parties cannot hear each other while the call is on hold.

  • At the bottom center of the screen, is the End call button.

Tip: Hold your phone in portrait orientation to access all of these controls. There are less controls available if you hold the device in landscape.

To activate any of these controls, swipe right or left to move the focus to the desired item and 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

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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