New accessibility improvements in Skype 8.0

Skype is designed to keep you connected to the people who matter the most and help you do the work you need to do. We take your feedback very seriously and are grateful to our active accessibility community who point us to areas of improvement to live up to our vision. Building on the work we announced earlier this year, we’ve been listening to your feedback and have continued to work to make the latest version of Skype (version 8.0) even more accessible.

Based off your suggestion to make the transition to the new version easier, we created the Accessibility support for Skype page with details on how to easily use a screen reader to move from Skype version 6 or 7 to Skype version 8.0. The page also demonstrates keyboard shortcuts for Skype version 8.0, as well as how to complete key scenarios in Skype with a screen reader, including chat, adding expressions, and navigating a profile.

In addition, since our last update on accessibility, we made a few more improvements to the latest version of Skype, including:

  • Focus assist, which announces when you receive an incoming call for keyboard only and screen reader users.
  • Screen reader announcements from users in the active call list.
  • Navigational focus announcements within the contact list and settings to improve flow.
  • Announcing the name, content, and actions of a pop up dialog.
  • New message announcements when users are in another chat.
  • Smoother navigation that takes a more natural left-to-right and top-to-bottom path.
  • Displaying additional information when sending and receiving messages. For example, Skype now announces when messages are sent and when messages you attempt to send have failed.

We are committed to continually improving our software and services to meet the needs of all our customers. Please share your thoughts and ideas via the Microsoft Accessibility UserVoice or contact the Disability Answer Desk for real-time support via phone, chat, or ASL videophone—your feedback is always appreciated. If you are an early adopter—and comfortable with early preview releases—please consider joining the Skype Insider community.