Accessing Microsoft Teams features using keyboard shortcuts

For individuals with mobility or vision disabilities, keyboard shortcuts can be easier than using the touchscreen and are an essential alternative to using a mouse.

Here are a few common keyboard shorts to use with Microsoft Teams

Accept video callCtrl+Shift+A
Accept audio callCtrl+Shift+S
Decline callCtrl+Shift+D
Raise or lower your handCtrl+Shift+K
Toggle videoCtrl+Shift+O
Toggle muteCtrl+Shift+M
common shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Finding multiple keys difficult to press

For people who find pressing multiple keys at the same time challenging, Autohotkey allows you to remap a keyboard shortcut to just one key.  So for example you could remap the function key F2 to Ctrl+Shift+A and so answer an incoming video call by pressing the F2 key instead.

Another alternative is to have a dedicated switch to send the shortcut. 

Hand pressing an adaptive switch

Switch interface

A wireless Bluetooth option is the Puck.js.  This is a microcontroller which can be programmed as a Bluetooth Keyboard.  Keyboard shortcuts can then be setup to activate when the switch is pressed.  This video below shows a Puck.js that has been setup for a short press to send a Ctrl+Shift+K (that is: a short press raises or lowers the speaker’s hand on a Teams call) while a long press will send a Ctrl+Shift+M (turns on/off the individual’s microphone)

Or another alterative using the eneso enCore is a neat little USB switch interface that can be configured to work in various different modes. Simple setup software allows you to programme the device to appear to the PC as a mouse, keyboard or joystick.

Although there are some differences with the shortcuts used between the In the Teams Desktop app and the Web app, most are the same.  A full list of the shortcuts is available here.

The good:  Microsoft Teams shortcuts provide a way for peoples with mobility or vision disabilities to easily access all the Microsoft Teams features

The not so good: There are some differences with the shortcuts used between the Teams Desktop App and the Web app.

The verdict: To fully benefit using Microsoft Teams, being able to access all the features is important.  Use of Autohotkey or a switch interface can make accessing these features even easier for users with mobility or vision disabilities. 

2 comments

    1. Hi Thierry,
      Thanks for leaving a comment. Apologies for the delay replying. I’ve looked into your PowerTools before and thought they had great potential for people with physical access difficulties. I’ve dabbled a little with AutoHotKey in the past and it’s a powerful tool but a little too technical for many people who work to support people with disabilities. We’d love if you had time to write a blog post for us here an ATandMe about how PowerTools can help with access?
      Kind regards,
      Karl

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