Microsoft Teams - Accessibility

Last Updated: 07/01/2020

Service Overview

Microsoft Teams is a messaging application that supports embedding documents and software tools within workspaces for teams. 

Microsoft Teams has both web browser and desktop client interfaces (for both Mac and Windows). There is also a mobile app available for iOS and Android.

Teams Accessibility Status

Microsoft Teams is inaccessible to screen reader users. Navigating through MS Teams is extraordinarily difficult for screen reader users due to inconsistent navigation requirements, multiple regions, unpredictable focus changes, quantity of content, and lack of structural cues. Structural cues available to sighted users are not available to screen reader users. These cues delineate distinct regions of the software and establish relationships between pieces of information. Without them, it is extremely difficult for screen reader users to correctly interpret content. In addition to these overwhelming issues, severe issues also exist with creating new meetings, information that is not accessible to screen reader users, and using Project OneNote. 

Using Microsoft Teams with a keyboard is cumbersome and challenging due to the variety of techniques required to successfully work with the application.

Recommendation: Do not use Microsoft Teams if you have a team member who uses a screen reader.

Please note: Statements on this page about the accessibility of Microsoft Teams are based on accessibility testing done from 2017 through Jan 2020 with multiple screen readers (Windows desktop) and February 2019 (iOS), and may no longer represent the current status of the software. Teams has not yet been tested on Mac OS or Android.

Information for Assistive Technology Users

There are a number of severe accessibility issues in Teams for screen reader users. Using Microsoft Teams with a screen reader is not recommended.

Alternatives

CU Boulder is working directly with Microsoft to improve the accessibility of Microsoft Teams. While this effort is underway, you may want to consider alternatives such as:

  • Zoom (for meetings)
  • Mobile app for Teams (limited functionality compared to desktop application)
  • Email (for communication)

Vendor Accessibility Documentation

Get Help or Provide Feedback

OIT has partnered with Disability Services to provide assistance for accessibility issues related to OIT supported services and we want to hear from you about this service. If you need assistance using this service or you have more information about the accessibility of this service that we should share with others, please contact the IT Service Center at oithelp@colorado.edu or at 303-735-4357.