Microsoft is rolling out sign language mode in Teams

Microsoft is rolling out a new feature, Sign Language View, in MS Teams. The Sign Language View has only been rolled out in preview for now and should make it easier for deaf and hard of hearing people to attend Teams meetings. The Teams developers created the sign language mode based on feedback provided by the target audience.

Deaf and hard of hearing people can follow meetings more easily through up to two central windows. The application will roll out to the general public within a few weeks.

Two central windows for sign language

Sign language mode is available for Windows, Mac and web and supports signers, deaf and hard of hearing people. The application gives priority to a maximum of two windows for translators. These windows are in a fixed position, which will increase the ease of use. When Sign Language View is activated, the videos that have been set as priority will always appear in the appropriate size and image quality.

The user can set the new application as default. The function can also be set during a meeting. During a call, the priority windows remain central as long as their image is on. Sign Language View is a personal setting, so it has no impact on the settings of other users.

Microsoft is rolling out sign language mode in Teams

Quality view of sign language when sharing content

When a participant wants to share certain content with the rest of the group, the position of the translator will change. The quality of the video will not change and the image will be larger than the windows with other participants. If the translator is someone from outside the organisation, they can still be designated as a priority during the meeting. You can appoint someone as a translator, and thus give priority, by clicking on the list of participants in settings.

For now, both sign language display and accessibility settings are only available in public preview. Microsoft did indicate that the feature will roll out to all desktop and web users in the coming weeks.

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