Make your Microsoft Teams meetings, calls, and messages accessible to people with disabilities

This topic gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make your Microsoft Teams meetings, live events, calls, and messages accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

Microsoft Teams has many features built-in that help people with different abilities to participate in and contribute to meetings, read messages, and engage in discussions. You'll learn, for example, how to turn on transcriptions and captions, pin sign language interpreter's video, and reduce distractions in meetings. You'll also learn how to maximize the inclusiveness in your messages and in the content you're planning to share.

For more info on the accessibility features in Microsoft Teams, go to Accessibility tools for Microsoft Teams.

In this topic

Share accessible content

If you are planning to share content such as PowerPoint presentations in meetings, calls, or messages, use the Accessibility Checker to make sure the content is accessible before sharing it. The Accessibility Checker is a tool that reviews your content and flags accessibility issues it comes across. It explains why each issue might be a potential problem for someone with a disability. The Accessibility Checker also suggests how you can resolve the issues that appear. You can find the Accessibility Checker in most Microsoft Office apps such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use the Accessibility Checker, go to Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker.

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Make your meetings, live events, and calls accessible

Whether you're a meeting or event organizer or presenter, or just simply setting up a call, ensure that everyone can participate in and contribute to the meeting or call. You can, for example, turn on transcriptions and captions or pin a sign language interpreter's video for easy access.

For additional info on how to make your meetings, live events, and calls accessible, go to Accessibility tips for inclusive Microsoft Teams meetings and live eventsTake advantage of the accessibility features in Microsoft Teams for a better meeting or live event experience, and Best practices for setting up and running a Teams meeting or Live event for the deaf and hard of hearing.

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Turn on transcriptions and captions

When you use captions or transcriptions, people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a learning disability like dyslexia, for example, can follow the meeting audio as text. It is also possible to capture the text version of a Microsoft Teams call and save it for later use.

For detailed info on how to use captions and transcriptions, go to View live transcription in a Teams meetingEdit the transcript of a meeting recording in TeamsUse live captions in a Teams meeting, and Use CART captions in a Microsoft Teams meeting (human generated captions).

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Spotlight a video

If you're a meeting organizer or presenter, you can spotlight someone's video to pin it for everyone in the meeting. For example, you can spotlight a sign language interpreter's video so that participants with a hearing disability can easily access and focus on the interpreter's video.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use spotlight, go to Spotlight someone's video in a Teams meeting.

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Reduce distractions

Reducing distractions in meetings, live events, and calls can help everyone focus on the person who is speaking or the material that is being shared.

For example, if you're presenting, you can blur your background or use a steady image to make the background less prominent or busy. For the step-by-step instructions on how to change your background, go to Change your background for a Teams meeting.

Similarly, when your mic is turned on in a meeting or call, background noise around you—shuffling papers, slamming doors, barking dogs, and so on—can distract others. In Microsoft Teams for Windows desktop, you can choose from three levels of noise suppression to help everyone concentrate on what's going on in the meeting or call. For the step-by-step instructions on how to set the noise suppression level, go to Reduce background noise in Teams meetings.

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Record meetings 

Record the meeting so the participants can revisit the points discussed in their own time and review what they might have missed the first time. It is also possible to watch recordings at slower and faster speeds. The recordings are indexed so the participants can go over specific segments based on slide transitions.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to record meetings and live events and manage the recordings, go to Record a meeting in Teams, Manage a live event recording and reports in Teams, and Play and share a meeting recording in Teams

Top of Page

Create accessible messages

Accessible chat and channel messages are easy to read and understand for everyone. For example, screen reader users can quickly scan long messages if you structure them well using built-in heading styles and lists. You can also use descriptive subjects in your messages, add alt texts to images, and choose appropriate emoticons and emojis to make your messages as inclusive as possible.

Top of Page 

Add a message subject to a channel message

Adding a descriptive subject to your channel messages can help screen reader users to scan and navigate posts in a channel and get an overview of the content in your messages.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor in the Add a subject text field, and then type a subject for your message.

The Add a subject text field in Microsoft Teams. 

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Create accessible headings

Using descriptive headings in your channel and chat message bodies can help your readers to quickly scan your message, both visually and with assistive technology and get an overview of what your message is all about.

Ideally, headings explain what a section in your message is about. Use the built-in heading styles and create descriptive heading texts to make it easier for screen reader users to determine the structure of the message and navigate the headings.

Organize headings in the prescribed logical order and do not skip heading levels. For example, use Heading 1, Heading 2, and then Heading 3, rather than Heading 3, Heading 1, and then Heading 2. Organize the information into small chunks. Ideally, each heading would include only a few paragraphs.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor where you want to create a heading.

  2. Select the drop-down list for styles (Rich styles), and then select the heading style you want.

The Styles button and list in Microsoft Teams. 

Top of Page 

Avoid using tables

In general, avoid tables if possible and present the data another way, like paragraphs with headings. Tables with fixed width might prove difficult to read for people who use Magnifier, because such tables force the content to a specific size. This makes the font very small, which forces Magnifier users to scroll horizontally, especially on mobile devices.

If you have to use tables, use the following guidelines to make sure your table is as accessible as possible:

  • Avoid fixed width tables.

  • If you have hyperlinks in your table, edit the link texts, so they make sense and don't break mid-sentence.

  • Make sure the tables are easily read with Magnifier. View your message on a mobile device to make sure people won’t need to horizontally scroll it on a phone, for example.

Top of Page

Add alt text to visuals in chat messages

Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen to understand what’s important in visual content. In alt text, briefly describe the image and mention its intent. Screen readers read the text to describe the image to users who can’t see the image.

Avoid using text in images as the sole method of conveying important information. If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the message content. In alt text, mention the existence of the text and its intent.

If an image is purely decorative, mention that in the alt text.

Tip: To write a good alt text, make sure to convey the content and the purpose of the image in a concise and unambiguous manner. The alt text shouldn’t be longer than a short sentence or two—most of the time a few thoughtfully selected words will do. Do not repeat the surrounding textual content as alt text or use phrases referring to images, such as, "a graphic of" or "an image of." For more info on how to write alt text, go to Everything you need to know to write effective alt text.

  1. Paste the image into your chat message.

    Note: Currently, it's not possible to add alt text to attached images or images in channel messages.

  2. Right-click the image, and then select Add alt text. The Alt text dialog box opens.

  3. Type the alt text for the image.

  4. Select Save.

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Use accessible font size and color and inclusive text formatting

An accessible font and text formatting don't exclude or slow down the reading speed of anyone reading the content in a message, including people with low vision, reading disability, or people who are blind. The right font and formatting improve the legibility and readability of the message. The text in your message should also be readable in a high contrast mode.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to change font size and format text, go to Change message font size in Teams and Format a message in Teams.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • To ensure that text displays well in a high contrast mode, use the Automatic setting for font colors.

  • Avoid using all capital letters and excessive italics or underlines.

  • A person with a vision disability might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors. For example, add an underline to color-coded hyperlink text so that people who are colorblind know that the text is linked even if they can’t see the color.

  • From the three font sizes available in the Microsoft Teams messages, select Large.

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Create accessible hyperlinks

People who use screen readers sometimes scan a list of links. Links should convey clear and accurate information about the destination. If the title on the hyperlink's destination page gives an accurate summary of what’s on the page, use it for the hyperlink text. For example, this hyperlink text matches the title on the destination page: Create more with Microsoft templates. Avoid using link texts such as "Click here," "See this page," Go here," or "Learn more."

For the step-by-step instructions on how to create accessible hyperlinks, go to Send a file, picture, or link in Teams.

Top of Page 

Create accessible lists

To make it easier for screen readers to read your Microsoft Teams messages, organize the information into small chunks such as bulleted or numbered lists.

Design lists so that you do not need to add a plain paragraph without a bullet or number to the middle of a list. If your list is broken up by a plain paragraph, some screen readers might announce the number of list items wrong. Also, the user might hear in the middle of the list that they are leaving the list.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor where you want to create a list.

  2. To create a bulleted or numbered list, select  The Bulleted list button in Microsoft Teams. (Bulleted list) or  The Numbered list button in Microsoft Teams. (Numbered list).

  3. Type your list items.

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Choose your emojis, emoticons, and GIFs carefully

If you use emojis, emoticons, or GIFs in your messages, select them carefully and keep your audience in mind. Use emojis, emoticons, or GIFs occasionally for emphasis instead of trying to communicate your whole message with them. 

Preferably, use emojis or emoticons that do not move instead of those that move continuously. Use with caution the ones that move for a brief period. While these moving symbols might be entertaining for some, others might find them distractive, and therefore they might have difficulties focusing on your message.

Some of your readers might be using screen readers or other assistive technologies, magnification, zoom, or a different color scheme on their computer such as a high contrast mode. To make sure the emojis, emoticons, or GIFs are inclusive, do the following:

  • Test what the emojis and emoticons look like when magnified, for example, to 200%.

  • Make sure that there is alt text. Add alt text if possible or describe the emoji, emoticon, or GIF within the message body.

  • If you're using emojis, emoticons, or GIFs in place of text, select the ones that have good color contrast.

Use common symbols whose meaning your readers are likely to be familiar with. For example, an avocado emoji to reference healthy eating might not be understood by everyone reading your message.

For people with cognitive disabilities, novelty or unusual emoticons, emojis, and GIFs can make your message more difficult to understand. For example, some people might be unable to decode an emoticon that is sideways.

Top of Page 

Test accessibility with Immersive Reader 

Once you've posted your message, try reading it with Immersive Reader to check how it sounds like. If you notice any issues with accessibility, you can edit the message and then repost it.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use Immersive Reader, go to Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams.

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See also

Take advantage of the accessibility features in Microsoft Teams for a better meeting or live event experience

Accessibility tips for inclusive Microsoft Teams meetings and live events

Use the Accessibility Reminder to notify authors of accessibility issues

Everything you need to know to write effective alt text

Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible to people with disabilities

Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities

Make your Excel documents accessible to people with disabilities

In this topic

Share accessible content

If you are planning to share content such as PowerPoint presentations in your Microsoft Teams on Mac meetings, calls, or messages, use the Accessibility Checker to make sure the content is accessible before sharing it. The Accessibility Checker is a tool that reviews your content and flags accessibility issues it comes across. It explains why each issue might be a potential problem for someone with a disability. The Accessibility Checker also suggests how you can resolve the issues that appear. You can find the Accessibility Checker in most Microsoft Office apps such as PowerPoint, Word for Mac, and Excel for Mac.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use the Accessibility Checker, go to Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker.

Top of Page

Make your meetings, live events, and calls accessible

Whether you're a meeting or event organizer or presenter, or just simply setting up a call, ensure that everyone can participate in and contribute to the meeting or call. You can, for example, turn on transcriptions and captions or pin a sign language interpreter's video for easy access.

For additional info on how to make your meetings, live events, and calls accessible, go to Accessibility tips for inclusive Microsoft Teams meetings and live eventsTake advantage of the accessibility features in Microsoft Teams for a better meeting or live event experience, and Best practices for setting up and running a Teams meeting or Live event for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Top of Page 

Turn on transcriptions and captions

When you use captions or transcriptions, people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a learning disability like dyslexia, for example, can follow the meeting audio as text. It is also possible to capture the text version of a Microsoft Teams call and save it for later use.

For detailed info on how to use captions and transcriptions, go to View live transcription in a Teams meetingEdit the transcript of a meeting recording in TeamsUse live captions in a Teams meeting, and Use CART captions in a Microsoft Teams meeting (human generated captions).

Top of Page 

Spotlight a video

If you're a meeting organizer or presenter, you can spotlight someone's video to pin it for everyone in the meeting. For example, you can spotlight a sign language interpreter's video so that participants with a hearing disability can easily access and focus on the interpreter's video.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use spotlight, go to Spotlight someone's video in a Teams meeting.

Top of Page

Reduce distractions

Reducing distractions in meetings and calls can help everyone focus on the person who is speaking or the material that is being shared.

For example, if you're presenting, you can blur your background or use a steady image to make the background less prominent or busy. For the step-by-step instructions on how to change your background, go to Change your background for a Teams meeting.

Top of Page 

Record meetings 

Record the meeting so the participants can revisit the points discussed in their own time and review what they might have missed the first time. It is also possible to watch recordings at slower and faster speeds. The recordings are indexed so the participants can go over specific segments based on slide transitions.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to record meetings and live events and manage the recordings, go to Record a meeting in Teams, Manage a live event recording and reports in Teams, and Play and share a meeting recording in Teams

Top of Page

Create accessible messages

Accessible chat and channel messages are easy to read and understand for everyone. For example, screen reader users can quickly scan long messages if you structure them well using built-in heading styles and lists. You can also use descriptive subjects in your messages, add alt texts to images, and choose appropriate emoticons and emojis to make your messages as inclusive as possible.

Top of Page 

Add a message subject to a channel message

Adding a descriptive subject to your channel messages can help screen reader users to scan and navigate posts in a channel and get an overview of the content in your messages.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor in the Add a subject text field, and then type a subject for your message.

The Add a subject text field in Microsoft Teams. 

Top of Page 

Create accessible headings

Using descriptive headings in your channel and chat message bodies can help your readers to quickly scan your message, both visually and with assistive technology and get an overview of what your message is all about.

Ideally, headings explain what a section in your message is about. Use the built-in heading styles and create descriptive heading texts to make it easier for screen reader users to determine the structure of the message and navigate the headings.

Organize headings in the prescribed logical order and do not skip heading levels. For example, use Heading 1, Heading 2, and then Heading 3, rather than Heading 3, Heading 1, and then Heading 2. Organize the information into small chunks. Ideally, each heading would include only a few paragraphs.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor where you want to create a heading.

  2. Select the drop-down list for styles (Rich styles), and then select the heading style you want.

The Styles button and list in Microsoft Teams. 

Top of Page 

Avoid using tables

In general, avoid tables if possible and present the data another way, like paragraphs with headings. Tables with fixed width might prove difficult to read for people who use Magnifier, because such tables force the content to a specific size. This makes the font very small, which forces Magnifier users to scroll horizontally, especially on mobile devices.

If you have to use tables, use the following guidelines to make sure your table is as accessible as possible:

  • Avoid fixed width tables.

  • If you have hyperlinks in your table, edit the link texts, so they make sense and don't break mid-sentence.

  • Make sure the tables are easily read with Magnifier. View your message on a mobile device to make sure people won’t need to horizontally scroll it on a phone, for example.

Top of Page

Add alt text to visuals in chat messages

Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen to understand what’s important in visual content. In alt text, briefly describe the image and mention its intent. Screen readers read the text to describe the image to users who can’t see the image.

Avoid using text in images as the sole method of conveying important information. If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the message content. In alt text, mention the existence of the text and its intent.

If an image is purely decorative, mention that in the alt text.

Tip: To write a good alt text, make sure to convey the content and the purpose of the image in a concise and unambiguous manner. The alt text shouldn’t be longer than a short sentence or two—most of the time a few thoughtfully selected words will do. Do not repeat the surrounding textual content as alt text or use phrases referring to images, such as, "a graphic of" or "an image of." For more info on how to write alt text, go to Everything you need to know to write effective alt text.

  1. Paste the image into your chat message.

    Note: Currently, it's not possible to add alt text to attached images or images in channel messages.

  2. Right-click the image, and then select Add alt text. The Alt text dialog box opens.

  3. Type the alt text for the image.

  4. Select Save.

Top of Page 

Use accessible font size and color and inclusive text formatting

An accessible font and text formatting don't exclude or slow down the reading speed of anyone reading the content in a message, including people with low vision, reading disability, or people who are blind. The right font and formatting improve the legibility and readability of the message. The text in your message should also be readable in a high contrast mode.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to change font size and format text, go to Change message font size in Teams and Format a message in Teams.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • To ensure that text displays well in a high contrast mode, use the Automatic setting for font colors.

  • Avoid using all capital letters and excessive italics or underlines.

  • A person with a vision disability might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors. For example, add an underline to color-coded hyperlink text so that people who are colorblind know that the text is linked even if they can’t see the color.

  • From the three font sizes available in the Microsoft Teams on Mac messages, select Large.

Top of Page

Create accessible hyperlinks

People who use screen readers sometimes scan a list of links. Links should convey clear and accurate information about the destination. If the title on the hyperlink's destination page gives an accurate summary of what’s on the page, use it for the hyperlink text. For example, this hyperlink text matches the title on the destination page: Create more with Microsoft templates. Avoid using link texts such as "Click here," "See this page," Go here," or "Learn more."

For the step-by-step instructions on how to create accessible hyperlinks, go to Send a file, picture, or link in Teams.

Top of Page 

Create accessible lists

To make it easier for screen readers to read your Microsoft Teams on Mac messages, organize the information into small chunks such as bulleted or numbered lists.

Design lists so that you do not need to add a plain paragraph without a bullet or number to the middle of a list. If your list is broken up by a plain paragraph, some screen readers might announce the number of list items wrong. Also, the user might hear in the middle of the list that they are leaving the list.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor where you want to create a list.

  2. To create a bulleted or numbered list, select  The Bulleted list button in Microsoft Teams. (Bulleted list) or  The Numbered list button in Microsoft Teams. (Numbered list).

  3. Type your list items.

Top of Page

Choose your emojis, emoticons, and GIFs carefully

If you use emojis, emoticons, or GIFs in your messages, select them carefully and keep your audience in mind. Use emojis, emoticons, or GIFs occasionally for emphasis instead of trying to communicate your whole message with them. 

Preferably, use emojis or emoticons that do not move instead of those that move continuously. Use with caution the ones that move for a brief period. While these moving symbols might be entertaining for some, others might find them distractive, and therefore they might have difficulties focusing on your message.

Some of your readers might be using screen readers or other assistive technologies, magnification, zoom, or a different color scheme on their computer such as a high contrast mode. To make sure the emojis, emoticons, or GIFs are inclusive, do the following:

  • Test what the emojis and emoticons look like when magnified, for example, to 200%.

  • Make sure that there is alt text. Add alt text if possible or describe the emoji, emoticon, or GIF within the message body.

  • If you're using emojis, emoticons, or GIFs in place of text, select the ones that have good color contrast.

Use common symbols whose meaning your readers are likely to be familiar with. For example, an avocado emoji to reference healthy eating might not be understood by everyone reading your message.

For people with cognitive disabilities, novelty or unusual emoticons, emojis, and GIFs can make your message more difficult to understand. For example, some people might be unable to decode an emoticon that is sideways.

Top of Page 

Test accessibility with Immersive Reader 

Once you've posted your message, try reading it with Immersive Reader to check how it sounds like. If you notice any issues with accessibility, you can edit the message and then repost it.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use Immersive Reader, go to Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams.

Top of Page

See also

In this topic

Share accessible content

If you are planning to share content such as PowerPoint presentations in your Microsoft Teams on the web meetings, calls, or messages, use the Accessibility Checker to make sure the content is accessible before sharing it. The Accessibility Checker is a tool that reviews your content and flags accessibility issues it comes across. It explains why each issue might be a potential problem for someone with a disability. The Accessibility Checker also suggests how you can resolve the issues that appear. You can find the Accessibility Checker in most Microsoft Office apps such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use the Accessibility Checker, go to Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker.

Top of Page

Make your meetings and calls accessible

Whether you're a meeting organizer or presenter, or just simply setting up a call, ensure that everyone can participate in and contribute to the meeting or call. You can, for example, record your meeting and share the recording to let the participants play it at their own pace. If you're presenting using video, you can select a background that reduces visual distractions.

Tip: To discover more accessibility features for meetings and calls, use the full Microsoft Teams desktop app.

For additional info on how to make your meetings and calls accessible, go to Accessibility tips for inclusive Microsoft Teams meetings and live eventsTake advantage of the accessibility features in Microsoft Teams for a better meeting or live event experience, and Best practices for setting up and running a Teams meeting or Live event for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Top of Page 

Reduce distractions

Reducing distractions in meetings and calls can help everyone focus on the person who is speaking or the material that is being shared.

For example, if you're presenting, you can blur your background or use a steady image to make the background less prominent or busy. For the step-by-step instructions on how to change your background, go to Change your background for a Teams meeting.

Top of Page 

Record meetings 

Record the meeting so the participants can revisit the points discussed in their own time and review what they might have missed the first time. It is also possible to watch recordings at slower and faster speeds. The recordings are indexed so the participants can go over specific segments based on slide transitions.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to record meetings and manage the recordings, go to Record a meeting in Teams and Play and share a meeting recording in Teams

Top of Page

Create accessible messages

Accessible chat and channel messages are easy to read and understand for everyone. For example, screen reader users can quickly scan long messages if you structure them well using built-in heading styles and lists. You can also use descriptive subjects in your messages, add alt texts to images, and choose appropriate emoticons and emojis to make your messages as inclusive as possible.

Top of Page 

Add a message subject to a channel message

Adding a descriptive subject to your channel messages can help screen reader users to scan and navigate posts in a channel and get an overview of the content in your messages.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor in the Add a subject text field, and then type a subject for your message.

The Add a subject text field in Microsoft Teams. 

Top of Page 

Create accessible headings

Using descriptive headings in your channel and chat message bodies can help your readers to quickly scan your message, both visually and with assistive technology and get an overview of what your message is all about.

Ideally, headings explain what a section in your message is about. Use the built-in heading styles and create descriptive heading texts to make it easier for screen reader users to determine the structure of the message and navigate the headings.

Organize headings in the prescribed logical order and do not skip heading levels. For example, use Heading 1, Heading 2, and then Heading 3, rather than Heading 3, Heading 1, and then Heading 2. Organize the information into small chunks. Ideally, each heading would include only a few paragraphs.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor where you want to create a heading.

  2. Select the drop-down list for styles (Rich styles), and then select the heading style you want.

The Styles button and list in Microsoft Teams. 

Top of Page 

Avoid using tables

In general, avoid tables if possible and present the data another way, like paragraphs with headings. Tables with fixed width might prove difficult to read for people who use Magnifier, because such tables force the content to a specific size. This makes the font very small, which forces Magnifier users to scroll horizontally, especially on mobile devices.

If you have to use tables, use the following guidelines to make sure your table is as accessible as possible:

  • Avoid fixed width tables.

  • If you have hyperlinks in your table, edit the link texts, so they make sense and don't break mid-sentence.

  • Make sure the tables are easily read with Magnifier. View your message on a mobile device to make sure people won’t need to horizontally scroll it on a phone, for example.

Top of Page

Add alt text to visuals in chat messages

Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen to understand what’s important in visual content. In alt text, briefly describe the image and mention its intent. Screen readers read the text to describe the image to users who can’t see the image.

Avoid using text in images as the sole method of conveying important information. If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the message content. In alt text, mention the existence of the text and its intent.

If an image is purely decorative, mention that in the alt text.

Tip: To write a good alt text, make sure to convey the content and the purpose of the image in a concise and unambiguous manner. The alt text shouldn’t be longer than a short sentence or two—most of the time a few thoughtfully selected words will do. Do not repeat the surrounding textual content as alt text or use phrases referring to images, such as, "a graphic of" or "an image of." For more info on how to write alt text, go to Everything you need to know to write effective alt text.

  1. Paste the image into your chat message.

    Note: Currently, it's not possible to add alt text to attached images or images in channel messages.

  2. Right-click the image, and then select Add alt text. The Alt text dialog box opens.

  3. Type the alt text for the image.

  4. Select Save.

Top of Page 

Use accessible font size and color and inclusive text formatting

An accessible font and text formatting don't exclude or slow down the reading speed of anyone reading the content in a message, including people with low vision, reading disability, or people who are blind. The right font and formatting improve the legibility and readability of the message. The text in your message should also be readable in a high contrast mode.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to change font size and format text, go to Change message font size in Teams and Format a message in Teams.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • To ensure that text displays well in a high contrast mode, use the Automatic setting for font colors.

  • Avoid using all capital letters and excessive italics or underlines.

  • A person with a vision disability might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors. For example, add an underline to color-coded hyperlink text so that people who are colorblind know that the text is linked even if they can’t see the color.

  • From the three font sizes available in the Microsoft Teams on the web messages, select Large.

Top of Page

Create accessible hyperlinks

People who use screen readers sometimes scan a list of links. Links should convey clear and accurate information about the destination. If the title on the hyperlink's destination page gives an accurate summary of what’s on the page, use it for the hyperlink text. For example, this hyperlink text matches the title on the destination page: Create more with Microsoft templates. Avoid using link texts such as "Click here," "See this page," Go here," or "Learn more."

For the step-by-step instructions on how to create accessible hyperlinks, go to Send a file, picture, or link in Teams.

Top of Page 

Create accessible lists

To make it easier for screen readers to read your Microsoft Teams on the web messages, organize the information into small chunks such as bulleted or numbered lists.

Design lists so that you do not need to add a plain paragraph without a bullet or number to the middle of a list. If your list is broken up by a plain paragraph, some screen readers might announce the number of list items wrong. Also, the user might hear in the middle of the list that they are leaving the list.

  1. In the expanded message compose box, place the cursor where you want to create a list.

  2. To create a bulleted or numbered list, select  The Bulleted list button in Microsoft Teams. (Bulleted list) or  The Numbered list button in Microsoft Teams. (Numbered list).

  3. Type your list items.

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Choose your emojis, emoticons, and GIFs carefully

If you use emojis, emoticons, or GIFs in your messages, select them carefully and keep your audience in mind. Use emojis, emoticons, or GIFs occasionally for emphasis instead of trying to communicate your whole message with them. 

Preferably, use emojis or emoticons that do not move instead of those that move continuously. Use with caution the ones that move for a brief period. While these moving symbols might be entertaining for some, others might find them distractive, and therefore they might have difficulties focusing on your message.

Some of your readers might be using screen readers or other assistive technologies, magnification, zoom, or a different color scheme on their computer such as a high contrast mode. To make sure the emojis, emoticons, or GIFs are inclusive, do the following:

  • Test what the emojis and emoticons look like when magnified, for example, to 200%.

  • Make sure that there is alt text. Add alt text if possible or describe the emoji, emoticon, or GIF within the message body.

  • If you're using emojis, emoticons, or GIFs in place of text, select the ones that have good color contrast.

Use common symbols whose meaning your readers are likely to be familiar with. For example, an avocado emoji to reference healthy eating might not be understood by everyone reading your message.

For people with cognitive disabilities, novelty or unusual emoticons, emojis, and GIFs can make your message more difficult to understand. For example, some people might be unable to decode an emoticon that is sideways.

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Test accessibility with Immersive Reader 

Once you've posted your message, try reading it with Immersive Reader to check how it sounds like. If you notice any issues with accessibility, you can edit the message and then repost it.

For the step-by-step instructions on how to use Immersive Reader, go to Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams.

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See also

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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