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A Teams video call with ten participants and live captions.

Accessibility features for everyone

Collaborate your way with accessible features like closed captions, audio transcription, and live reactions in Microsoft Teams.

Enable inclusive collaboration in hybrid meetings

Empower everyone by configuring meetings and calls with accessibility and inclusion in mind.

Use captions and transcription

Captions and transcriptions provide options to see text as well as, or instead of, audio content.

Reduce distractions

Adjust your notification settings and use custom backgrounds to help everyone stay focused.

Participate your way

Choose how you contribute to the conversation with chat, live reactions, hand raising, and other features.

Prioritize sign language

Keep interpreters and other sign language users in view, even when content is shared.

Empower everyone

More than 1 billion people around the world live with a disability. Enable collaboration for everyone with unique accessibility features and tools in Microsoft Teams.

  • A Teams video call with four participants with live captions displayed along the bottom of the screen and the call transcript displayed on the right.


    Captioning features convert audio content into text to make meetings and video content more accessible for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing and those with varying levels of language proficiency.

    A Teams video call where closed captions and live transcript are in use.

    Closed captions versus open captions

    Closed captions are most common. For content like video recordings, closed captions exist as a separate file, which allows viewers to switch them on or off. Open captions, by contrast, are burned into the video itself, and cannot be turned off.

    Two people in a meeting with large screens displaying a Teams video call and a presentation, one is speaking, and the other is holding a tablet.

    Offer readable, real-time captions

    Auto-generated real-time captioning, or live captioning, is often used for live meetings and events. Live captioning is one way to increase the accessibility of meetings and events for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    A Teams video call with live captioning being used.

    Live captioning in Teams

    Microsoft Teams provides live captioning with speaker attribution in 28 languages by default. Meeting participants can turn on live captions from the meeting controls to view captions at the bottom of the meeting window. Live captions are not saved for later viewing.

    A speaker standing in a meeting room with a large screen displaying a presentation and a Teams video call and a colleague listening to the speaker.

    CART captioning

    Communication access real-time translation (CART) captions, or human-generated real-time captioning, is provided by trained captioners using specialized software along with phonetic keyboards or stenography methods to produce real-time captioning for meeting and event participants.

    A Teams video call where the meeting organizer is setting up CART captions.

    Use CART captions in Teams

    CART captions are available in Microsoft Teams as an option chosen by the meeting organizer. To provide captions, the meeting organizer must invite the CART captioner to the meeting and provide them with a special link to connect their captioning software to the meeting.

    A Teams video call with the accessibility settings open.

    Keep captions on for all your calls

    Deaf and hard of hearing participants who regularly use captioning features can save time by setting captions to stay on for all meetings

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  • Three people in a meeting room looking at a presentation being given over a Teams call on a television on the wall.

    Convert speech to written text

    Audio transcription converts speech and other audio components into written text. Transcripts, unlike captions, are generally made available as a separate document or hyperlinked within the online content.

    A Teams meeting with video and voice participants, one participant raising their hand to speak and the live transcript being displayed on the right.

    Live transcripts in Teams

    Live transcripts with speaker attribution are available in 28 languages in Microsoft Teams. View live transcription in real-time alongside meeting content, or review after the meeting to catch up at your own pace.

    A Teams meeting with video and voice participants and a transcription being started.

    Enable live transcription in Teams

    Turn on live transcription from the meeting options menu within a Teams meeting or set to start transcription along with recording.

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  • Two people having a conversation in sign language.

    Communicate in sign language

    Keep sign language interpreters and other signers clearly in view within remote meetings.

    A Teams video call where the sign language interpreter is featured prominently in the call and a live transcript is viewable.

    Keep sign language users visible

    Ensure that interpreters and other sign language users stay visible in a consistent location for participants who communicate primarily in sign language.

    A Teams video call with two sign language users being featured prominently and a live transcript of the call is viewable on the screen.

    Use sign language view in Teams

    Keep up to two other participants’ videos visible at a larger size and higher quality even when content is shared.

    A Teams video call with the accessibility settings open to add priority signers.

    Show regular interpreters in all meetings

    Identify other signers in your organization in the Teams accessibility settings and set them to appear in sign language view across all your meetings.

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  • A presentation being shared over a Teams meeting with voice and video participants and the menu showing the different languages that the slides can be translated to in real-time.

    Share content inclusively

    Share more accessible content using built-in accessibility features across Microsoft products.

    A sales analysis presentation being given over a Teams meeting with two video participants and three voice participants.

    PowerPoint Live

    Engage more flexibly with content. Privately change color contrast, use a screen reader, or navigate shared slides at your own pace without interrupting the meeting.

    A Sales Analysis presentation being given over a Teams meeting with two video participants and three voice participants.

    Excel Live

    Make shared content and collaboration more accessible to participants using screen readers when working together on Excel spreadsheets within a Teams meeting.

    Alt text being added to an image of a large rowboat in Teams chat.

    Add alt text to images in Teams chat

    Ensure everyone understands chat posts by right clicking on any image you share to add alt text before you post.

    A person walking outside and looking at a tablet.

    Inline translation in chat

    Inline chat message translation within Teams facilitates collaboration across language barriers since messages are translated into the language specified by each participant.

    A group of people in a meeting room participating in a Teams call via the television mounted on the wall behind them.

    Audio description

    Audio description is a voiceover description of what appears in a video. Typically, audio descriptions augment the audio portion of a presentation with information during pauses in dialogue. This description includes information about actions, presenters (such as new or additional presenters), scene changes, and any on-screen text not described by the speaker or presenter.

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  • A Teams video call with participants using blurred backgrounds.

    Reduce distractions

    Help everyone stay focused on meeting content by filtering out unnecessary sights and sounds.

    A Teams video call with a panel on the right showing Background settings and options.

    Use background effects

    Blur your background or select a background image in virtual meetings when using an app such as Microsoft Teams. Background effects help keep the focus on you, and are especially helpful for those who read lips or those for whom focusing may be a challenge.

    A person using sign language to communicate.

    Avoid background effects for sign language

    Those communicating in sign language should avoid using background effects to make sure others can see what you’re saying.

    A person working on a laptop and mobile phone while taking care of a child.

    Limit background noise in meetings

    Reduce or avoid distraction from background noise—such as shuffling papers, slamming doors, and barking dogs—when your mic is turned on in a meeting or call.

    A user participating in a Teams video call and adjusting their noise suppression settings.

    Use noise suppression in Teams

    Help keep meeting participants focused using three levels of noise suppression on the Teams desktop app and iOS.

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  • Four people in a meeting room and a Teams video call using intelligent speakers being displayed on the wall behind them.

    Intelligent speakers

    Microsoft Teams intelligent speakers are designed to identify and differentiate the voices of 10 people talking in a Teams Room. During a meeting, all participants who speak are identified and post-meeting transcripts identify both remote and in-room attendees. 

    Intelligent speakers use voice profile information to identify who is speaking. Intelligent speakers offer a bridge between remote work and the office and deliver excellent audio performance. Two models were created in partnership with Yealink and EPOS.

    Two people in a meeting room with a meeting device on the table showing a Teams call in progress and a presentation being displayed on a television.

    Yealink and EPOS

    Yealink’s MSpeech is an intelligent speaker with AI features including attributed live transcription, and Cortana voice, for Microsoft Teams Rooms. The EPOS Capture 5 is a premium speaker with a seven-microphone array for capturing all meeting participants.

    Four people in a meeting room with two large screens displaying a presentation and a Teams video call and laptops and a Sennheiser TeamConnect Intelligent Speaker device on the table.


    TeamConnect Intelligent Speaker from Sennheiser is optimized for Microsoft Team Rooms for up to 10 people. With Microsoft Cortana voice built in, participants control the TeamConnect Intelligent Speaker with voice commands.

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Disability support

The Disability Answer Desk (DAD) provides customers with a dedicated support team to help resolve issues related to accessibility, listen to feedback and suggestions, and answer questions. 

The enterprise Disability Answer Desk (eDAD) provides organizations with support to resolve issues related to the functionality of Microsoft products being used with assistive technology and conformance documentation for products.

Five people in a meeting room participating in a Teams video call with live captions being projected on the wall.

See how customers use Microsoft 365 to be more inclusive

Marks & Spencer combines 137 years of experience with Microsoft 365 digital tools to usher in the future of retail

“Colleagues of all abilities benefit from accessibility features like slowing down the playback speed of a Teams meeting recording or using captioning to help them stay focused on what’s being said. “

Lorna Woodman: Project Manager for Visual Systems and cofounder of the Buddy Network, Marks & Spencer

Two employees having a conversation over coffee in the Marks & Spencer office

Raising awareness that disabled people can do so much more with Microsoft

"I use Microsoft Teams to manage my team. It allows people who traditionally wouldn’t have that ability to collaborate, to work from home – now they can. "

Raj Jeyaraj: Head of Operation, Inclusion Scotland

A person in a wheelchair holding a tablet and speaking to two coworkers.

Additional Microsoft accessibility resources

Find more accessibility resources for Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft 365 and Windows 11.

A person wearing over-the-ear headphones working at their desk with multiple screens and participating in a Teams call.

Accessibility overview of Microsoft Teams

Ensure that all participants have the best possible experience using Microsoft Teams with accessibility features such as reduced background noise, live closed captions, and background blur.

The background settings in a Teams call with the Add new background button circled.

Configure Microsoft Teams meetings and calls for inclusion

Give participants greater flexibility in how they engage with your Teams environment by using features such as captioning of live video and support for sign language interpreters.

The accessibility settings in Windows 11.

Disability Answer Desk support

The Disability Answer Desk is where customers with disabilities get support with Microsoft 365 apps, Windows, Xbox, and other Microsoft products.

A person standing in a living room speaking.

Accessibility features at work

Digital Accessibility for the Modern Workplace is a LinkedIn Learning course featuring Hector Minto, a Senior Technology Evangelist at Microsoft.

A collage of images of people with varying disabilities in the workplace.

Microsoft accessibility overview

Read about our five-year commitment to help decrease the gap in education, employment, and access to technology for people with disabilities around the world.

A person speaking with a laptop in front of them.

How to make meetings more inclusive and accessible

If you have a lot of online meetings, it’s likely that some participants have a disability. See seven ways to create a more inclusive and accessible experience in Microsoft Teams.

Learn more about accessible meetings in Teams

Get accessibility support for Microsoft Teams

Make your organization’s meeting environment more accessible

See what’s new in accessibility across Microsoft 365

Frequently asked questions

  • Captions and transcripts provide text versions of spoken meeting content. While captions disappear as they scroll past, transcriptions show the full context of the conversation and are typically saved after the meeting ends.

  • Live captions and CART captions are similar. Both happen in real time. However, live captions are auto-generated and CART captions are provided manually by captioners using specialized software.

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