Zoom and Teams

This page's resources are designed to assist individuals who use assistive technology and video conferencing software concurrently. Cal State LA supports two options for videoconferencing; Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Your professor may use either of these platforms to hold remote classes and meetings.

Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts

The following shortcuts are universal to the Zoom Desktop Client and should work when using various assistive technologies.

  • F6 = Navigate among Zoom windows.
  • CTRL+ALT+SHIFT = Move focus to the meeting controls in Zoom.
  • ALT+A = Mute/unmute microphone. You may leave your microphone muted and press and hold the spacebar to unmute your microphone temporarily.
  • ALT+S = Start or stop screen share Note: Will only work when the meeting control toolbar is in focus. 
  • ALT+T = Pause or resume screen share Note: Will only work when the meeting control toolbar is in focus
  • ALT+R = Start local recording. The host can disable the functionality to record the meeting.
  • ALT+C = Start cloud recording. Records the meeting to the cloud. The host can disable the functionality to record the meeting.
  • ALT+P = Pause or resume recording. The host can disable the functionality to record the meeting.
  • ALT+F = Enter or exit full screen.
  • ALT+H = Display/hide Chat panel. The chat panel allows you to send a written message to all participants or individuals.
  • ALT+U = Display/hide Participants panel. The participants' panel is a simple list of everyone who is in the meeting.
  • ALT+Y = Raise/lower your hand icon next to your name in the participant window. This alerts the meeting host that you would like to ask a question. Note that the host must pay attention to the participants' list for this feature to be useful.

Teams (Windows) Desktop App Keyboard Shortcuts


  • Open Activity – Ctrl + 1
  • Open Chat – Ctrl + 2
  • Start a new chat – Ctrl + N
  • Open Teams – Ctrl + 3
  • Open Calendar – Ctrl + 4
  • Open Calls – Ctrl + 5
  • Open Files – Ctrl + 6
  • Open Filter – Ctrl + Shift + F
  • Show keyboard shortcuts – Press Ctrl  +  Period (.)
  • Show commands – Ctrl + Slash (/)
  • Open Settings – Ctrl + Comma (,)
  • Open Help – F1
  • Close – Esc
  • Zoom in – Ctrl + Equal Sign (=)
  • Zoom out – Ctrl + Minus Sign (-)

Meetings and calls

  • Schedule a meeting – Ctrl + Shift + N
  • Save/send a meeting request – Ctrl + S
  • Start audio call – Ctrl + Shift + C
  • Accept audio call – Ctrl + Shift + S
  • Start video call – Ctrl + Shift + U
  • Accept video call – Ctrl + Shift + A
  • Decline call – Ctrl + Shift + D
  • Toggle audio (mute/unmute) – Ctrl + Shift + M
  • Toggle video – Ctrl + Shift + O
  • Toggle fullscreen – Ctrl + Shift + F
  • Toggle background blur in video call – Ctrl + Shift + P

Screen sharing

  • Go to sharing toolbar – Ctrl + Shift + Space
  • Share your screen – Ctrl + Shift + E
  • Accept screen share – Ctrl + Shift + A
  • Reject screen share – Ctrl + Shift + D


  • Go to compose box – C
  • Expand compose box – Ctrl + Shift + X
  • Send (expanded compose box) – Ctrl + Enter
  • Mark message as important – Ctrl + Shift + X
  • Attach file – Ctrl + O
  • Start new line – Shift + Enter
  • Reply to a thread – R
  • Mark as important – Ctrl + Shift + I


  • Go to – Ctrl + G
  • Go to Search – Ctrl  +  E
  • Go to previous list item – Alt + Up Arrow
  • Go to next list item – Alt + Down Arrow
  • Move selected team up – Ctrl + Shift + Up Arrow
  • Move selected team down – Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow
  • Go to previous section – Ctrl + Shift + F6
  • Go to next section – Ctrl + F6

Using Teams with Screen Reading Software

To cycle through the Microsoft Teams screen elements, press Ctrl+F6 to move between the different screen regions. The screen contains the following main elements:

  • The main content area in the center of the screen. The main content area consists of a list pane and a content pane.
  • The vertical toolbar on the far left of the screen. The screen reader announces: "App bar." To navigate inside the toolbar, press the Up or Down arrow key. The screen reader announces the buttons as you move. From the toolbar, you can switch to another view or an installed app.
  • The horizontal menu bar at the top of the screen contains the Back and Forward buttons and the search field.

To cycle through the horizontal menu bar, the vertical toolbar, the list pane of the main content area, and finally, the content pane of the main content area, press Ctrl+F6.

Navigate to a view

Microsoft Teams contains the following main views: Teams, Activity, Chat, Calendar, and Files.

Teams view

When you first sign in to the Microsoft Teams app, you land in the Teams view. The team with the most recent activity in your teams list is selected, and the team's conversation in the General channel is displayed. You can browse your teams, select a team's channel, add new channels, and join or leave a team. You can also access, modify, and contribute to the content of a team channel. For example, you can write a message or upload a file to share with your team.

To go to the Teams view after login, press Ctrl+3. The screen reader announces: "Teams and channels list." The focus is in the Favorites section in the list pane.

Tip: To quickly go to a specific channel or team, press Ctrl+E to move to the search field at the top of the screen. Type /goto, press Enter and start typing the name of the channel or team. The list of search results is updated as you type. Press the Down arrow key to browse the list until you hear the result you want, and then press Enter. The requested team or channel opens in the Teams view.

Activity view

The Activity view contains activity feeds containing a summary of everything that's happened in the team channels you follow or a summary of your recent activity.

To go to the Activity view, press Ctrl+1. The screen reader announces: "Feed is selected." The focus is on the listing option menu in the list pane.

Chat view

The Chat view lists your recent messages. You can browse the messages list and open a message to write a reply, read a whole conversation, start a call, or share a file in a chat. You can also check a contact's details and start a private chat.

To go to the Chat view, press Ctrl+2. The screen reader announces: "Chat list." The focus is on the list of recent chats in the list pane.

Calendar view

The Calendar view lists your upcoming meetings. You can browse upcoming meetings, join an online meeting, or schedule a meeting.

To go to the Calendar view, press Ctrl+4. The screen reader announces: "Calendar grid." The focus is on the Today section in the list pane.

Calls view

In the Calls view, you can call your contacts directly from Microsoft Teams. You can also browse your call history and check your voice mail.

Note: The Calls feature is available in certain regions only.

To go to the Calls view, press Ctrl+5. You hear: "Calls list."

Files view

In the Files view, you can browse and open your personal files from OneDrive or your team's shared files in the native app or edit them in Microsoft Teams. You can also download a file to your local device.

  • To go to the Files view, do one of the following:
  • If you have the Calls feature, press Ctrl+6.
  • If you don't have the Calls feature, press Ctrl+5.

The screen reader announces the details of the first file in the recent files list. The focus is on the first file in the content pane.

Navigate inside a view

Each view contains a main content area in the center of the screen. This area has been divided into a list pane and a content pane. The contents of each pane depend on the selected view.

When you select a view, the focus moves to either the list pane or content pane, as described in Navigate to a view. To navigate between the list and content panes, press the Tab key, Shift+Tab, or Ctrl+F6.

List pane

The list pane is on the left side of the main content area. You can browse and select items and display them in detail in the content pane on the right. For example, in the Chat view, select a chat in the list pane, and the entire chat is displayed in the content pane. Depending on the selected view, you can also schedule a meeting or join a team.

  • To enter a list, press the Tab key or the Down arrow key until you hear the first item in the list.
  • To browse the items in a list pane, press the Up or Down arrow key. The screen reader announces the item details or buttons as you move.
  • To select an item in a list and display its details in the content pane, press Enter.

Content pane

The content pane is on the right side of the main content area. You can access the content of the item selected in the list pane. Depending on the selected view, you can also add channels and tabs, start a call, and type a message. The content pane also contains a tabs row on the top of the pane to organize the team assets, for example, to posts, shared files, or organizational info.

To navigate in the content pane:

Go to the Microsoft Teams channel window in which you want to navigate the page. To navigate to the tabs row, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear the currently selected tab, for example, "Posts." To move to another tab, press the Right or Left arrow key until you hear the tab you want to select, and then press Enter.

  • To enter the content pane main area, press the Tab key until you hear the latest item in the area, such as the latest message in a conversation.
  • To navigate inside a content pane, press the Tab key, or the Up or Down arrow key. The most recent content is in the bottom of the pane.
  • To navigate inside a calendar in the content pane, press Ctrl+4 and then press the Tab key or Shift+Tab to move between the top toolbar, calendar options toolbar, and the calendar body. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate inside a day in a calendar and the Left and Right arrow keys to move between days.

Enable the JAWS virtual cursor

The virtual cursor is one of the three cursors available in JAWS. It is designed to be used in an HTML, web, or similar environment (including HTML-based help systems, PDF files, and HTML mail format) where navigation with the other JAWS cursors might be less efficient.

The JAWS virtual cursor lets you navigate and read a web page as you would a text document, such as a Word file. The cursor can roam freely by the same text units that a word processing app would have, such as characters, words, lines, or paragraphs. As the JAWS virtual cursor moves around on a web page or similar environment, no visible indicator is shown as to its location. This way, you can move the virtual cursor outside the range of the content currently being displayed on your screen.

Recent versions of JAWS no longer have the virtual PC cursor mode set as default for Microsoft Teams. For more information on the JAWS virtual cursor, go to Use Microsoft Teams with the JAWS virtual cursor.

With JAWS running, open Microsoft Teams.

  • Press the Insert key+6 to open the JAWS Settings Center window. The focus changes to the Search box in that window.
  • In the Search box, type use virtual PC.
  • Press the Tab key once to move the focus to the list of search results. You hear "Use virtual PC cursor," followed by the current setting of the virtual PC cursor option. If the current setting is "Unchecked," press Spacebar to select the Use virtual PC cursor check box.
  • Press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and press Enter.

Once you've enabled the JAWS virtual cursor, press Insert key+Z to toggle the virtual cursor on or off while JAWS is running.