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Use a screen reader to create or follow a channel in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to create or follow a channel in 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 with visual impairments 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 Microsoft Teams with your keyboard and a screen reader to create new channels to a team, follow channels, and @mention people. We have tested it with JAWS and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

Notes: 

In this topic

Create a new channel

Create new channels to direct discussions around different themes, subtopics, or tasks to channels of their own.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. You hear: "Teams and channels list." Navigate to the team you want to add a channel to using the Up and Down arrow keys.

  3. Press Spacebar to open the More options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Add channel" and press Enter. The Create a channel dialog opens.

  5. Type the channel name and press the Tab key once.

  6. Type an optional team description.

  7. Press the Tab key until you hear "Add" and press Enter to create the channel. The focus moves to the new channel in the content pane.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. You hear: "Teams and channels list." Navigate to the team you want to add a channel to using the Up and Down arrow keys.

  3. Press Spacebar to open the More options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Add channel" and press Enter. The Create a channel dialog opens.

  5. Type the channel name and press the Tab key once.

  6. Type an optional team description.

  7. With NVDA, press the SR key+Spacebar. Press B until you reach the Add button and press Enter to create the channel. With JAWS, press the Tab key until you reach the Add button and press Enter to create the channel.

    The focus moves to the new channel in the content pane.

Follow a channel

Following a channel allows you to get and control notifications from that channel.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. You hear: "Teams and channels list." Navigate to the channel you want to follow using the Up and Down arrow keys.

  3. Press Spacebar to open the More options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Follow this channel" and press Enter.

@mention people

When you want to make sure your message gets noticed by a certain person, use @mention to make the message appear in their activity feed.

  1. When composing a message in Microsoft Teams, type the @ sign followed by the name of the person, such as @mary donald.

    Tip: You can also @mention a channel within your team.

  2. If your screen reader announces just one matching user, press Enter to select. If there are several matching users, your screen reader announces the number of matches. To browse the list of users, press the Down or Up arrow key, and press Enter to select a user. The @mention is added to the message. When you send the message, it appears in their activity feed.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Use Microsoft Teams on Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to create new channels to a team, follow channels, and @mention people.

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 macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Create a new channel

Create new channels to direct discussions around different themes, subtopics, or tasks to channels of their own.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Command+3 to go to the Teams view.

  2. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate the list of teams. When you hear the team you want to add a channel to, press Spacebar.

  3. The More options menu opens. Press the Down arrow key until you reach the Add channel option, and press Return.

  4. The Create a channel dialog opens. The focus is in the Channel name field. Type a name for the channel.

  5. If you want to add a description for the channel, press the Tab key once to move to the Description field, and type the description.

  6. Press the Tab key until you reach the Privacy field. By default, the channel is available to all team members. If you want to set the channel as private, press the Down arrow key until you hear the Private option, and press Return.

  7. Press the Tab key until you reach the Add or Next button, and press Return.

    If you chose to create a channel that's available to all team members, the channel is now created and the focus is in the compose box on the channel's Conversations tab. If you chose to set the channel as private, continue with the following steps to add members to the channel.

  8. Type the name of the person you want to add to the channel and press Return. Press the Tab key once, and then press Return to add.

  9. To add more people, press the Shift+Tab key once to go back to the name field, type the name of another person, and press Return. Press the Tab key once and then press Return again.

  10. When you're done adding people, press the Tab key until you reach the Done button and press Return.

Follow a channel

Following a channel allows you to get and control notifications from that channel.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Command+3 to go to the Teams view.

  2. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate the list of teams and channels.

  3. When you hear the channel you want to follow, press Spacebar. If you don't hear the channel you want, it may be nested within a team. To open a nested list, press Return when the focus is on the team.

    Tip: You can also search for a channel. To go to the search field, press Command+E. Type /goto, press Return and type the name of the channel you want to follow. Press the Down arrow key to navigate the list of results, and press Return to select. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you reach the channel in the list pane, and then press Spacebar.

  4. The More options menu opens. Press the Down arrow key until you reach the Follow this channel option, and press Return to select.

@mention people

When you want to make sure your message gets noticed by a certain person, use @mention to make the message appear in their activity feed.

  1. When composing a message in Microsoft Teams, type the @ sign, followed by the name of the person, such as @mary donald.

    Tip: You can also @mention a channel within your team.

  2. If VoiceOver announces just one matching user, press Return to select. If there are several matching users, press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate the list of users, and press Return when you hear the user you want. The @mention is added to the message. When you send the message, it appears in their activity feed.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Use Microsoft Teams on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to create new channels to a team, follow channels, and @mention people. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • Recent versions of JAWS no longer have the virtual PC cursor mode set as default for Microsoft Teams. For instructions on how to switch the virtual PC cursor mode on, go to Enable the JAWS virtual cursor.

  • When you use Microsoft Teams on the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser and Narrator as your screen reader. Because Microsoft Teams on the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Microsoft Teams on the web.

    If you use Chrome or Firefox as your web browser, we recommend that you use JAWS or NVDA as your screen reader.

In this topic

Create a new channel

Create new channels to direct discussions around different themes, subtopics, or tasks to channels of their own.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+Shift+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. You hear: "Teams and channels list." Navigate to the team you want to add a channel to using the Up and Down arrow keys.

  3. Press Spacebar to open the More options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Add channel" and press Enter. The Create a channel dialog opens.

  5. Type the channel name and press the Tab key once.

  6. Type an optional channel description.

  7. Press the Tab key until you hear "Add" and press Enter to create the channel.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode, in JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode, and in Narrator it is called the scan mode.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+Shift+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. You hear: "Teams and channels list." Navigate to the team you want to add a channel to using the Up and Down arrow keys.

  3. Press Spacebar to open the More options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Add channel" and press Enter. The Create a channel dialog opens.

  5. Type the channel name and press the Tab key once.

  6. Type an optional channel description.

  7. With Narrator and NVDA, press the SR key+Spacebar, press B until you reach the Add button, and press Enter to create the channel. With JAWS, press the Tab key until you reach the Add button, and press Enter to create the channel.

Follow a channel

Following a channel allows you to get and control notifications from that channel.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+Shift+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. You hear: "Teams and channels list." Navigate to the channel which you want to follow using the Up and Down arrow keys.

  3. Press Spacebar to open the More options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Follow this channel" and press Enter.

@mention people

When you want to make sure your message gets noticed by a certain person, use @mention to make the message appear in their activity feed.

  1. When composing a message in Microsoft Teams, type the @ sign followed by the name of the person, such as @mary donald.

    Tip: You can also @mention a channel within your team.

  2. If your screen reader announces just one matching user, press Enter to select. If there are several matching users, your screen reader announces the number of matches. To browse the list of users, press the Down or Up arrow key, and press Enter to select a user. The @mention is added to the message. When you send the message, it appears in their activity feed.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft 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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