This week, Zoom added a few new features aimed at improving access for all users. Specifically, they can help those who might struggle with video meetings. If you haven’t updated yet, you might want to do so soon.

New Zoom Features - Gallery Reorder

Rearrange Gallery View

Until now, the windows in Gallery View changed order based on the active speaker. Now, you can rearrange these windows however you like. Simply drag and drop a window into a new position. Anyone would find this useful, but it’s especially handy for someone with a hearing disability. For example, an interpreter’s video can be moved closer to the person speaking.

Multi-Pinning

After rearranging, Zoom can and will still reorder windows… unless you pin them. Previously, you could already pin a single user’s video window. This isn’t new. With multi-pinning, you can pin up to nine video windows.

From our previous example, users could pin an interpreter and the primary speaker next to each other after moving them. In this way, the interpreter and primary speaker never move. However, the rest of the windows would rearrange themselves as usual. Active speakers besides the two pinned would come into view as needed.

New Zoom Features - Multi-Spotlight

Multi-Spotlight

Multi-spotlight works similarly to multi-pinning. A Zoom host can control how videos appear for everyone in the meeting. Just like multi-pinning, the host can spotlight up to nine videos. This allows everyone to see what the host intends and could be useful in larger meetings. Again from our previous example, the host could spotlight an interpreter and primary speakers, and everyone would see those videos windows at all times.

Additional Accessibility Features

Zoom has been working with multiple organizations to make their software A11Y-friendly. They’re also adhering to WCAG 2.1 AA recommendations. Zoom includes accessibility features like closed captioning, screen reader support, and keyboard shortcuts.

Inside the Zoom desktop client, you can find the Settings (gear icon on Windows) or Preferences (in the Zoom menu on Mac). Within, you’ll find an Accessibility settings section. You can control caption size, chat display size, and more.

With this feature release, Zoom stated, “While we know that nothing can be a ‘perfect fit’ for everyone’s needs, we are continuously working to improve our products and services.”

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