Zoom in Windows for Blind / Low Vision Users

Zoom Meeting is an on-line platform to communicate over distances. Zoom allows anyone to join a meeting from their computer, mobile phone or home phone line.  

Getting an Invitation 

Meetings are created by a host who will invite members to a meeting by sharing a link. This link can be sent via an email message, text message or posted at a website for open access.  

Once you receive an invitation you can open the link. You will have an option to join by computer, mobile app or by calling the number listed below and adding the meeting ID and any participant codes that were applied by the host. 

Screen Reader Access  

1. When you open the link, your screen reader will prompt you to open the Zoom Meeting.  

2. You will then hear “launch meeting” followed with a prompt to use video.  

This is so that others in the meeting can see you through your web camera or laptop camera. You can join a meeting without video and use just audio. 

Your Wi-Fi connection may affect the quality of the audio and video. If the quality of the audio is poor, turn off the computer audio and dial in by phone.  Dial-in with the number provided in the invitation. Make sure you disconnect the computer audio in the meeting before calling in. This will prevent an echo effect.   

Screen Reader Keyboard Commands 

Moving the focus to the Zoom toolbar: Ctrl. Alt.+Shift command. 

Using the Zoom toolbar. Move through the toolbar using the arrow keys and tab keys much like any Windows ribbon. 

Mute and Unmute: Use the key combination Alt. +A to mute or unmute 

Video Start/Stop: Use Alt.+V. 

Raise your hand: Use Alt+Y. 

Exit: Use Alt+F4  

Screen Reading of Shared Screen 

At this time, the screen reader cannot access the text to read aloud to you. Ask the host or others to send the information such as power points separately to you.  

Screen Magnification Access 

This is a typical Internet page with controls located at the top of the screen. Depending upon your screen magnification settings you may want to choose to enlarge the size of icons and if you plan on viewing videos choose the full-color option rather than the high contrast or alternative colors in your screen magnification software. 

For more information visit: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205683899-Hot-Keys-and-Keyboard-Shortcuts-for-Zoom 

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Kim Singleton

Kim is the Senior Director of TechOWL @ the Institute on Disabilities. In her previous life, Kim was a speech-language pathologist specializing in children and adults with complex communication needs, creatively enhancing lives with emerging technology. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she received her Master's Degree in Speech Pathology from Miami University. She loves to sing and play.

6 comments on “Zoom in Windows for Blind / Low Vision Users

  1. Thank you!
    I have looked all over for this information. I work for a charity that supports those born without eyes or malformed eyes and those affected by these conditions

  2. These are some great idea about zoom windows blv that you have discussed here. I really loved it and thank you very much for sharing this with us. You have a great visualization and you have really presented this content in a really good manner.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind feedback! We are delighted to know that you found our information helpful!

  3. I don’t know if the chat is still monitored, but here is my dilemma:
    I have ocular albinism, so low vision. I use a large monitor and easily do my work day to day, often using my magnifying glass or getting very close. After a year of Zoom calls, my company is now requiring all participants to use a camera. I really don’t want to have my eyeballs right in their face or squinting through my magnifying glass. How can I “be seen” and see screen shares or check my own data without reminding them of my disability? I’m wondering about a second monitor or freestanding camera. Thanks!

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