Accessibility compared – Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams

These three meeting platforms all have several accessibility features and are all very popular, but which is the most accessible for young braillists?

Zoom
Accessibility rating: 9/10
Zoom have tried very hard to make their meeting platform accessible to everyone, and they have added a lot of accessibility features to their mobile and desktop apps that really make a difference.

One feature that makes a big difference is keyboard shortcuts (on a computer you can just press alt+A to mute/unmute, Alt+Y to raise hand, Alt+S to share screen, Alt+Q to leave, etc…) This is very useful if you want to complete any of these actions quickly.

A lot of the buttons are also clearly labelled which makes things much easier, and you can also turn off announcements when anyone joins or leaves, which means you can concentrate on the presenter in large meetings. In Meet, this is not possible.

Google Meet
Accessibility rating: 7/10

Google have also tried to make Meet accessible, and I can join Google Meets without any help. They do have a couple of keyboard shortcuts (Control+D to mute/unmute and Control+E to start/stop video) but not as many as Zoom.

There is no shortcut to raise hand, as Google just added this feature as quickly as they could, so that schools could use it. There is also no way to turn off announcements without turning the speech off entirely.

With Google Meet, anyone using a Focus 5th generation braille display and IPad or IPhone should beware! There is a button of doom!! The right hand most button on the front will abruptly stop your participation in a meeting if brushed or pressed. So watch out!

To find out more about Google Meet, and some top tips, check out our Google Meet guides.

Microsoft Teams (meetings)
Accessibility rating: 5/10
I have not had much experience joining Teams meetings, but from the meetings I have joined I have found that it is quite a complicated process to find the Join now” button in a channel as Teams is a lot more than a meeting platform.

I have also had to join all meetings in the browser, as JAWS doesn’t appear to work with the Teams desktop app at all. I have found the Chat function in Teams more accessible than joining meetings.

I have quite often had to get sighted help at some point in the joining process, and for a long time the Share screen button was inaccessible. So I would use Teams if I had to, but not if I was setting up the meeting or had a choice.

Conclusion
I think that Zoom is the best meeting platform for accessibility as it has the most accessibility features and the option to turn announcements on and off. I use Zoom for my braille lessons as it has the best audio quality on the Touch+, and I think the only thing that is a bit annoying is the 40-minute limit on free meetings, although you can easily leave and re-join.

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