Zoom introduces new features to make video meetings more interactive

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Zoom Video Communications has announced new features that will make video communications more accessible for people to connect no matter where, when, and how they meet. Zoom’s philosophy is to go beyond basic compliance to make all the products truly usable.

Zoom has been working diligently with leading organizations in web accessibility, to make the platform as A11Y-friendly as possible. Here are some new Zoom features that will help diverse communities connect better and also bring ongoing web accessibility challenges to the forefront of the conversation.

NEW: Spotlight or pin multiple videos for meetings

Multi-pin and multi-spotlight are powerful features that help us interact more like we would in real life.

Many video meeting solutions highlight the speaker video, which can change many times. This can make meetings with an interpreter extremely difficult to follow if the highlighted video or order changes. Multi-pinning allows you to keep multiple videos in place. That means for your view only, the interpreter and speaker stay in the same spot, no matter who is speaking, making it easier to focus on the content. The host and co-host can grant permission for up to nine people in the meeting to pin multiple videos.

Multi-spotlight works very similarly, except the spotlighted videos show for everyone in the meeting. The host or co-host can spotlight up to nine videos so that everyone sees the same spotlighted videos. This is helpful for larger meetings that want to spotlight interpreters and speakers for everyone.

Full details: Multi-spotlight and Multi-pinning.

NEW: Rearrange videos
In Gallery View, videos reorder according to who is speaking or raising their hand. Now, you can drag and drop videos into your own custom order. Say, your interpreter’s video is in a lower corner, far from the content. You can now move their video tile closer to what’s being shared so that you can see them more comfortably. And when speakers change, your view will stay. Simply click, drag, and drop for your own custom order.

Full details: Rearranging videos.

Keyboard accessibility
At Zoom, we test our products and features to be fully keyboard accessible. Additionally, we have several keyboard shortcuts. Here is a list of our keyboard shortcuts.

Closed captioning
Closed captioning is available with professional captioners, or you can assign someone to type closed captions in your meeting. Caption size can easily be controlled in our Accessibility settings. You can get to these settings either from the up arrow on the closed captioning button in the meeting, or in settings on your desktop client.

For more information: enabling closed captioning, attendee viewing, closed captions with Zoom Rooms, and 3rd-party service configuration.

Screen reader support
We support all major screen reader software. To help focus on the alerts you want to hear, screen reader alerts can be adjusted in accessibility settings. You can get to these settings either from the up arrow on the closed captioning button in the meeting or in the settings on your desktop client.

For more information: screen readers.

Accessibility settings
In your Zoom desktop client, there is an Accessibility settings section where all your Zoom accessibility controls live. You can adjust the size of closed captioning, show or unshow meeting controls, and specify your screen reader alerts.

For more information: Accessibility settings.

The design process

Our accessibility is built into the platform from the start, not retrofitted after. Our designers and developers thoughtfully create, test, and build products intended to balance ease of use for diverse communities. While we know that nothing can be a “perfect fit” for everyone’s needs, we are continuously working to improve our products and services. We work diligently with many leading accessibility organizations to make Zoom as accessibility-friendly as possible.

Compliance

Our compliance and compliance documentation goes beyond a simple checkmark. We provide details and solicit feedback on how these features work and interoperate with other communication tools and for different needs. At Zoom, we strive to ensure that people from diverse communities can meet and collaborate with one another by taking into consideration the wide range of hearing, vision, mobility, and cognitive abilities. Our teams adhere to the WCAG 2.1 AA recommendations while designing and developing every feature to ensure that accessibility considerations are not just nice-to-haves, but requirements in our development process. We are thrilled to share a few new features of Zoom Meetings that can make video communications more accessible for anyone.


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