Using Microsoft Teams with a Screen Reader: Frequently Asked Questions

Using Microsoft Teams with a Screen Reader: Frequently Asked Questions

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.

This page contains a collection of answers to the most common questions people ask about when moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.

Frequently asked questions

What is Microsoft Teams and why would I use it?

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app that helps your team stay organized and connected - all in one place. You can create your own teams, start group or private chats, share files, set up meetings, make calls, and more. For more information, go to Video: Welcome to Microsoft Teams.

How will Teams work with a screen reader?

Microsoft Teams supports the use of screen readers for all the common tasks you might encounter. For more information, go to Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams and Accessibility support for Microsoft Teams.

What's a team?

A team is a group of users with access to a shared team site, discussion channels, files, and other resources. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams and Video: Overview of teams and channels.

How do I get assigned to a team?

Teams can be either public or private. Anyone in your organization can join a public team. For a private team, new members must be added by a team owner. You can also add people from outside your organization as guests in a team. For more information, go to Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams and Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams.

What's a channel?

Channels are group discussion areas you can create for your teams. When created, each team has a General channel for team-wide announcements and content. You can also create separate channels for different topics and be even more organized and productive. You can also follow a channel to be notified of new posts, so you never miss out on important updates. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to create or follow a channel in Microsoft Teams and Video: Overview of teams and channels.

What's the difference between team channels and private chats?

Team channels are freely accessible to all members of a team, while private chats are only available to the users invited to participate in them. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Can I send private messages?

Yes, you can. In addition to team channels and group chats, you can set up a private chat with any Microsoft Teams user. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams and Video: Start chats and make calls.

Can I use Teams to make calls?

Yes, Microsoft Teams supports making both video and audio calls. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to make and answer calls in Microsoft Teams and Video: Start chats and make calls.

Can I leave or receive voicemail?

Yes, you can leave voicemail for other users, who can listen to it later. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to check your voicemail in Microsoft Teams.

How do I set up a meeting?

Microsoft Teams can be used to schedule meetings both locally and in a team channel or group chat. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to schedule a meeting in Microsoft Teams and Video: Manage meetings.

Is my Outlook calendar automatically synced with Teams?

Yes, any meetings you set up in Outlook show up in the Meetings view of Microsoft Teams, so you can manage all your calendar events in one place. For more information, go to Video: Manage meetings.

Can I use Teams only in a browser?

In addition to using Teams in your browser, we have a desktop app for Windows and Mac, and a Windows 10 S app. On your Android phone or iPhone, you can use the mobile app.

To download the desktop app for your Windows or Mac, or the mobile app to iPhone or Android, go to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. On a Windows 10 S device, go to Microsoft Store to download.

Which are the supported browsers?

We recommend that you use Teams in Chrome when using JAWS or NVDA.

Can I do all tasks as a team member or do I need to be a team owner to do some of them?

As a team member, you can perform all basic tasks in Microsoft Teams, such as send and receive private and group messages, set up and join private and channel meetings, make and receive audio and video calls, leave and listen to voicemail messages, add channels to a team, and work with files.

In addition to all the tasks a team member can do, as a team owner you can:

How do I know if I’m a team member or a team owner?

You can check it on the Members tab of the team in Microsoft Teams. For instructions, go to section Check if you're a team owner or member in Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams.

Can I send a message from Teams to a person using Skype for Business?

Yes, you can use Teams to chat with a person using Skype for Business. In case that person has been using Teams at some point, the messages will be sent there instead of Skype for Business.

When chatting between Teams and Skype for Business, some of the Teams features won't be available, such as emoji and attachments. Also, your chat history will not be saved, so if you, for example, switch to another platform, you won't have access to your old messages.

Can I send group messages to people on Skype for Business?

It's not possible to send group messages to Skype for Business users from Teams, but Teams users can join a group conversation in Skype for Business.

How do I know if I'm included in a conversation?

The quickest way to check is to go to your activity feed in the Activity view. Your feed lists the items where someone has @mentioned you, your team or your channel, replied to a conversation you're part of, or replied to your message. For more information, go to Use a screen reader to check recent activity in Microsoft Teams.

Where can I find my latest activity in Teams?

The quickest way to check is to select My Activity in the Activity view. For instructions, go to Use a screen reader to check recent activity in Microsoft Teams.

What is T-Bot?

We offer a help bot called T-Bot to help you with any questions you might have about using Microsoft Teams. Just type a question or a phrase to the chat with T-Bot and you'll get an instant reply. You can type, for example “How can I make a call?” and T-Bot will reply you with the instructions.

You can find T-Bot in the help section in your app:

  • In a Windows or Mac desktop app, go to the search field, type /help, and press Enter. Then use the Tab key to go to Conversations and type your question or phrase.

  • On an iPhone, go to More > Help > Ask T-Bot, move to the message compose box and type your question or phrase. To move, swipe right, and to select or open, double-tap the screen.

  • On an Android phone, go to the hamburger menu and then select Settings > Help > Ask T-Bot. Move to the message compose box and type your question or phrase. To move, swipe right, and to select or open, double-tap the screen.

To find our instructions tailored for people who use screen readers, go to Accessibility support for Microsoft Teams.

Do I have the same features in the Teams app on my mobile phone?

You can use your mobile phone app for the same tasks you’d do in the Microsoft Teams desktop or web app, but due to the smaller screen, you might find the controls or items to be placed elsewhere. To discover and learn to navigate in your app, go to Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams.

How do I sign out of Teams?

It depends on the device you're using. In Windows, Mac, and web, navigate to the profile button, open the menu and select the sign-out option. On an iPhone, navigate to the More menu, select Settings, and Sign out. On an Android phone, open the hamburger menu and select Sign Out. For step-by-step instructions, go to section Sign out of Microsoft Teams in Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams.

Where else can I learn about the changes between Skype for Business and Teams?

Check out our article Switch to Teams from Skype for Business for more details on the similarities and differences between Skype for Business and Teams.

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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