Promoting Workplace Equity Through Inclusive Innovation: What’s New in Microsoft 365 Accessibility for Summer 2022

Get better control over time and tasks

Tools that promote a sense of control over time and tasks can help alleviate anxiety, contribute to better work-life balance, and reduce the risk of burnout. In previous blog posts, we have noted some of the ways Microsoft 365 tools can help users manage their time more effectively, for example, by subscribing to a Focus plan Where relax your mind wwith a Headspace meditation in Microsoft Viva Insights.

In recent months, we’ve continued to innovate in this area, with improvements in Outlook, Teams, and Viva Insights. In Outlook, you can now pin important messages at the top of your inbox, or drag and drop emails as tasks onto your task list to ensure that important messages do not slip through the cracks. To capture stray thoughts, you can now use the Teams Chat with Self feature to send you notes, messages, files, and pictures or videos, helping you keep everything in one place for follow-up or forwarding to your to-do list. And in Viva Insights, you can now access a curated set of guided meditations from Headspace in four additional languages: French, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

Note to our government customers

We’re also excited to announce that the following Microsoft 365 features, all of which are currently available to Microsoft commercial customers in shared cloud environments, have also been rolled out to Microsoft 365 GCC, GCC-High, and/or Department of Clients from Defense (DoD), as noted:

Microsoft Teams

  • Live Captions in Meetings for VDI – VMWare (GCC)
  • Live Captions in Meetings for VDI – Citrix (GCC)
  • Multi-window support for VDI – AVD, Windows 365, Citrix (GCC/GCC-H)
  • Customize chat density settings (GCC/GCC-H/DoD)
  • Chat with yourself (GCC/GCC-H/DoD)
  • Anonymous meeting join through clouds (GCC/GCC-H/DoD)
  • Live Transcript for Meetings on VDI (AVD) (GCC/GCC-H)
  • Suggested answers on mobile (GCC/GCC-H/DoD)
  • Ensemble mode on VDI (GCC-H)
  • Presenter View: Controls to move and resize the presenter video (GCC-H/DoD)
  • CART Captioning in Meetings (Desktop) (GCC-H)
  • Together mode on the web (GCC-H/DoD)
  • New default notification style for Teams (DoD)

Microsoft feeds

  • Add or edit captions and transcript for a video in SharePoint or OneDrive for Business (GCC/GCC-H/DoD)

Microsoft Viva

  • Information email from Microsoft Viva (GCC)
  • Viva Insights app in Teams (GCC)

Help shape the future of Microsoft 365 accessibility

Our commitment to accessibility is fueled by feedback from our customers and employees with disabilities, and it’s generating exciting new work within Microsoft. At 12e Annual Microsoft Ability Summit in May, we celebrated a new, expanded, inclusive tech lab and unveiled Microsoft Adaptive Accessories designed to give people with disabilities better access to technology. These adaptive accessories have been designed to allow anyone who has difficulty using a traditional mouse or keyboard. People can use these accessories to create their own custom setup wherever they choose to work. Discover the videos of the Ability Summit on demand.

Ensuring that our products enable everyone to connect, communicate and contribute is at the heart of Microsoft’s mission, and we are committed to continuous improvement in this area. And by far, our most important guide in this journey is the feedback from you, our customers. You can always reach us directly in the Microsoft 365 Apps you already use: just go to the File menu and select “Feedback”, then “Send a suggestion” and include the #accessibility tag.

If you have a disability and need technical assistance with a Microsoft product, theDisability Response Office(DAD) can help you by phone (800-936-5900) or chat. We also have an ASL option available for our deaf or hard of hearing customers in the US (+1 503-427-1234), as well as video support through thebe my eyesapplication. Client companies can also contact theCorporate Disability Response Office(eDAD) with questions about accessibility features, product compliance, and assistive technologies.

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