Zoom has added new accessibility features designed to make the video conferencing app easier for the deaf, hard of hearing or visually impaired people.
As reported by Mashable and USA Today, the first change to the app is to pin or highlight multiple videos at once, rather than just one as is currently allowed. This allows people in need of sign language interpretations to pin the interpreter's video during meetings and keep it visible at all times, even when the call is on speakerphone mode. Only nine people on each call can pin multiple videos, which can limit larger meetings.
Alternatively, the host can highlight multiple videos for all users so that up to nine different videos are visible at the same time. This is basically a more selective version of the app's current gallery view, showing as many videos as possible on the screen.
The gallery view itself is also updated slightly, so users can now reorder the position of each video instead of having them load in a fixed order. Again, the idea is to make it easier to keep certain video streams as prominent as needed. These functions have been available in the app since August 31.
Zoom's transcription options allow you to designate a transcriptor for the call or integrate it with a third-party transcription service.
Image: Zooming over Mashable
Zoom has also redesigned the app's keyboard shortcuts and improved the screen reading interface. (This way, the app's menus and commands will be read aloud by screen readers.) Both of these changes should allow people with visual impairments to navigate the app more fluently.
The app's subtitle system has also received a small update with new options for adjusting the text size. Zoom does not provide live subtitles of its own, but does offer users the option of entering subtitles live or integrating them with a third-party service like Otter.ai for automatic transcription via a new API.