Zoom – Guide for Blind users

This is a recovered post from Blogger.
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Everyone is suddenly using Zoom. How do I use it and how accessible is it?
Posted: 19 Apr 2020 07:05 AM PDT
Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while. I will be posting guides for how to use other chat apps soon.

Since lockdown started, many people have started to use Zoom, a platform for audio and video meetings.
You probably haven’t heard of Zoom before lockdown started, but lots of the events happening at the moment are Zoom meetings.
Below we have put together a guide on the basics of setting up Zoom.
Downloading Zoom:
Zoom is available for lots of operating systems, but sadly not the old BrailleNote Touch. There are apps for iOS, the Touch + and Android devices and programs for Mac and Windows. Zoom is quite easy to donload and if you don’t need to create meetings, you don’t need to sign up either.
Just remember to enter a name when asked as if you don’t, you might be given a default name like iPhone and may be refused access to some meetings as people may think that this default name belongs to a robot.
How to download Zoom (for coputers):
1. Open a web browser on the computer you want to Download Zoom onto.
2. Type in
zoom.us/download
into the address bar
3. Click the Download client for meetings button.
4. Zoom should now download automatically. On a Mac, you may have to enter your password for the download to start/when you install Zoom.
How to download Zoom (for Apple Devices):
1. Open the App store on your device.
2. Locate the Search tab and click on it. Then search for “Zoom Cloud Meetings”
3. When the app comes up, click Install.
4. Depending on the way your Apple ID is set up, you may need to enter a password, use Touch ID or get consent for a parent if you’re a child.
5. Once it says “Downloading” Zoom will download and install automatically. Then, simply open it to Join a meeting.
How to Download Zoom (for Touch +):
1. Open the Play Store app from Main Menu.
2. Find the search box by pressing the letter S until it says Search for apps and games.
3. Type in Zoom Cloud Meetings and press enter.
4. When the app comes up, Click Install. You may need to accept permissions so if an App permissions window appears, click Accept. You may need to instead Accept the permisions once you open the app so don’t worry if you are not asked to accept permissions at this stage.
Accessibility of Zoom:
Zoom is quite accessible. I can join Zoom meetings without needing to ask anyone to help as all the buttons are clearly labelled and I can navigate the program and app independently.
It is one of the most accessible conference call services I have come across. I have even heard of blind people using it to share their computer audio on a webinar when they are demonstrating something. I have seen this on the Sight and Sound webinar Wednesdays.
Joining a meeting:
To join a meeting, you first need a meeting ID (and sometimes password) or a Zoom meeting link.
The easiest way to join a meeting is to simply click the meeting link you have been sent and click Open if you are asked to open the page in Zoom.
Zoom will then launch and automatically log you in to the meeting.
Another way to join a meeting is by typing a meeting ID (and sometimes password) into the app/program.
To use this method, navigete to the “Join a meeting” option and enter the Meeting ID you have been sent. Then, customise the other settings on the screen and click Join. If asked for the Meeting password, enter the password you have been sent.
If you have joined the meeting successfully, the meeting screen will appear.
N.By You may need to click Join audio and then Call using internet audio before you can hear people.
If the host hasn’t arrived yet, it might say “Waiting for the host to start this meetingar or if you need to be admitted it might say “Please wait. The meeting host will let you in soon.”
The final option for joining a meeting is by telephone. This is not available for all meetings, so check with your meeting host or see if your invite lists phone numbers before trying to do this.
I recommend you use the app/program instead.
You can join a meeting by phone by calling +44 203 481 5240 and entering your meeting ID when asked. If it asks for a participant ID and you don’t have one, just press the hash key or wait a few seconds.
The only disadvantages of joining by phone are that your name will come vp as your phone number, so nobody will know who you are until you intruduce yourself (N.B. Some Look calls require you to have an identifyable name so for this you would need the Zoom app/program), you cannot use the chat area where you can write messages and it is more difficult to raise your hand and mute/unmute yourself as you need to know the specific commands rather than just finding the buttons on the screen.
Signing up so you can create a meeting:
To create a meeting, you first need a Zoom account. You can get a basic type of one by simply clicking “Sign up” in the app or program and entering your Email.
Then, just click the link in the email, set a password and you will now have an account.
This type of account will only let you create meetings of up to 40 minutes long though.
If you are at a school that has closed because of Covid-19, you can request to be able to create longer meetings for fre on Zoom’s website at
zoom.us
. If you are not a part of a closed school, you would need to pay if you wanted to create longer meetings.
Personally, I think the request thing may not work as I requested to be able to do unlimited calls and nothing happened.
Creating a meeting:
Once you have a Zoom account, you can start a meeting by clicking the “New meeting” button. This will immediately create a new Zoom meeting with an ID (and maybe password) which you can send to other people so they can join the meeting.
To schedule a meeting for a time and date, click the “Schedule” button and enter a meeting name, select the time and date from drop-down lists and optionally specify a calendar for the meeting to sync with.
Then, select the settings you want for this meeting (Tip: Here is where you can activate security peatures like a password or a waiting room) and then click Schedule.
You will then be given a Meeting ID and password which you can use for the meeting when it’s time. I have been able to join meetings before the Scheduled time so if you start the meeting a couple of minutes early, that shouldn’t matter.

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