Zoom on Wednesday launched new features designed to make the video chat platform easier to access for all users. Now, people can rearrange videos in Gallery View into whatever order they'd like by clicking, dragging and dropping. This can help someone with disabilities move an interpreter's video closer to who's sharing content in order to see them more easily, for instance.
Users can also pin multiple videos during meetings in order to keep the most important content in place. This can be helpful for some people with disabilities, who can now keep an interpreter and speaker in the same spot, no matter who's talking. Hosts and co-hosts can give permission for up to nine people to pin multiple videos.
Zoom also launched multi-spotlight, which is similar to multi-pinning, except the spotlighted videos appear for everyone in a meeting. A host or co-host can spotlight up to nine videos for everyone to see. This feature can be helpful for big meetings where organizers want to highlight interpreters and speakers for everyone, Zoom says.
These features join a handful of other accessibility-focused tools on Zoom, including closed captioning, screen reader support and keyboard shortcuts. The company says it's been working with organizations to make it easier for people with a range of needs to more easily use the platform.
"At Zoom, we strive to ensure that people from diverse communities can meet and collaborate with one another by taking into consideration the wide range of hearing, vision, mobility, and cognitive abilities," the company said in a release. "Our teams adhere to the WCAG [Web Content Accessibility Guidelines] 2.1 AA recommendations while designing and developing every feature to ensure that accessibility considerations are not just nice-to-haves, but requirements in our development process."
More tech companies are launching accessibility features as organizations and advocates point out the need for greater tech accessibility. The coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted the urgency of disability accommodations.