Add closed captions and improve accessibility of your Teams meetings

Did you know you can enable live captions in your meetings held in Microsoft Teams?

Closed captions can help improve accessibility to people with disabilities, but it can also be useful for those with different levels of language proficiency or people having difficulties hearing computer sound due to technical or environmental factors.

Important note: live captions are currently only available in English (US) and can only be used on the Teams desktop app (this function will not be offered when launching Teams meetings in a Web Browser).

Turn captions on and off

To enable live captions in a meeting, go to your meeting controls and select More options More options button > Turn on live captions (preview, English US only) (Fig 1).

Figure 1 - turning on live captions in a teams meeting
Figure 1 – turning on live captions in a teams meeting

To stop using live captions, go to the meeting controls and select More options More options button > Turn off live captions (preview).

Best practice for getting the most of live captions

For best accuracy, ensure you:

  • Speak clearly, slowly, and directly into the mic. As your distance from the mic increases, captions may become less accurate.
  • Avoid locations with background noise.
  • Avoid having multiple people speak at the same time.
  • Use the highest-quality audio capture available to you (a decent headset with microphone is usually sufficient).

Please note:

  • If someone is speaking with an accent, captions may be less accurate.
  • Obscenities will be starred out.
  • Teams may use a meeting’s subject, invitation, participant names, and attachments to improve caption accuracy.

Last updated: 15/4/2020

Guidance adapted from Microsoft. Original article can be found here.

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