Microsoft Office: Tools for Deaf Awareness

Tips that are available through the Microsoft 365 package, to promote more accessible working!

Across the Microsoft 365 packages (Outlook, MS Teams, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint), these are some of the top tools that might be useful.

  1. “Read aloud” This allows users to listen to whole documents, emails, or presentations as it is read by a narrator. It is also possible to have the narrator read selected portions of text. This function aids visually impaired individuals and those with reading-based learning disabilities. This also improves experiences for those with tired eyes, auditory learners and anyone who wants to listen rather than read.
  2. “Dictate” This speech-to-text technology can be used to dictate what you want to say into text on the screen. It can translate what you say to over 60 languages. Dictate aids physically impaired individuals who cannot type or struggle to type and also supports auditory learners! If you have ever found that your mind moves quicker than you can type, this might be for you!
  3. “Immersive reader” This is a collection of many tools and functionalities that improves reading/language fluency and comprehension by allowing a reader to adjust page colour, column with, line focus and text spacing. A reader can enable syllable identification and allow parts of speech to be colour coded, for example nouns are purple, verbs are blue etc. Those with reading based learning disabilities such as dyslexia may find this beneficial.
  4. “Captions” Autogenerate captions live of for recorded meetings/presentations can provide a visual complement or replacement to audio, translate into other languages for meeting/presentation subtitles, and in meetings with multiple speakers, speech can be attributed and labelled by speaker name. This tool aids hearing impaired individuals and captions can also increase focus and comprehension.
  5. “Microsoft Lens” This tool scans documents or whiteboards to make them readable and accessible in a digital form. These scanned items can be converted to PDFs, Word Documents or PowerPoints.

To learn more about how to access these tools, take a look at this youtube video!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top