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Day 20: Host Accessible Video Calls

Ready to flex your accessibility muscles and highlight several skills from the past three weeks?

Host an accessible video call with these five tips:

  1. Enable closed captions to include people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and/or neurodiverse. Instructions for activating closed captions on Microsoft Teams and Zoom are below.
  2. Ask all participants to introduce themselves with a self-description to benefit individuals who are blind, partially sighted, or joining with a low internet band width. To review self-descriptions, reference Day 1.
  3. Request all participants state their name each time they speak to include people who are blind, partially sighted, and/or neurodiverse.
  4. If discussing materials during a call, email accessible versions in advance. This will give participants of all abilities sufficient time to consume and process the materials. Reference Days 6 through 15 to review composing accessible emails and creating accessible materials.
  5. If sharing your screen or presenting during a call, use your audio description skills to describe important visual elements to include people who are blind, partially sighted, and/or neurodiverse. To review audio description tips, reference Days 18 and 19.

Activate closed captions on Microsoft Teams or Zoom with these instructions, obtained from the Microsoft Teams and Zoom websites.

Microsoft Teams

  1. Select “Meeting Controls.”
  2. Choose the “More Options” button.
  3. Select the “Turn on Captions” button.


Since closed captions are not automatically enabled, a host must activate them.

  1. Sign into the Zoom web portal as an admin with the privilege to edit account settings.
  2. In the navigation panel, click “Account Management.”
  3. Click “Account Settings.”
  4. Click the “Meeting” tab.
  5. Under “In Meeting (Advanced),” verify “Closed captioning” is enabled.
  6. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it.
  7. If a verification dialog box appears, click “Enable” to verify the change.
  8. (Optional) To make this setting mandatory for all users in your account, click the lock icon, and then click “Lock” to confirm the setting.
  9. (Optional) Select these check boxes to enable additional accessibility features:
    1. Allow use of caption API Token to integrate with 3rd-party Closed Captioning services.
    2. Enable live transcription service to transcribe meeting automatically.
    3. Allow viewing of full transcript in the in-meeting side panel. If check box is disabled, participants cannot view the full transcript in the side panel. They can only view captions in the video window of the meeting or webinar. Participants also will not be able to save captions. Note: This feature requires Zoom version 5.7.0 or higher.

If you found today’s challenge useful, let us know by tagging #ABD21DayChallenge and #AccessibleByDesign.