Using the JAWS Scripts For Microsoft Teams
Doug Lee
Last Revised February, 2020

This Guide provides tips for using Microsoft Teams (Teams) with JAWS For Windows and these scripts. When the scripts are installed and Teams is open and focused, this document can be opened via a double press of JAWSKey+F1 (or Insert+F1). For more general information about using Teams with a screen reader, consult Using Microsoft Teams With a Screen Reader.

Development of these scripts was funded in large part by this author's employer, Level Access, for which this author is most greatful.

Table of Contents

System Requirements For JAWS Users

These scripts require the following for correct operation with Teams:

Note: As of September, 2019, running these scripts under JAWS versions older than the JAWS 2019 August update will require the companion Script Load Manager (slman) scripts to manage Electron app script loading for your JAWS version. If you are upgrading these Teams scripts, install the Teams script upgrade before installing the Script Load Manager.

Script Installation Instructions

To install these scripts on a new system:

  1. Load JAWS if this has not already been done. This will require administrative privileges on the computer.
  2. Run JAWS as the user for whom the scripts are to be installed. This and the following steps must be performed for each user of the computer who will be using JAWS with these scripts.
  3. Download and run, or run directly, the installer for these scripts; and follow the on-screen directions. Be sure to install the scripts in the currently running JAWS version if a JAWS version list is presented.
  4. To verify successful installation, type Ins+Q while Teams is in focus. Part of the JAWS spoken response should be a revision number. If you do not hear a revision number, the scripts are not correctly loaded. If you are using an old JAWS version, it may be necessary to install or reinstall the Script Load Manager (slman) scripts to manage Electron app script loading for your JAWS version.

Using Teams With JAWS and the Scripts

Script Commands and Features

Script commands for Teams all begin with a prefix key, by default the left bracket ([). This prevents script commands from interfering with any native keystrokes supported by Teams itself.

The scripts provide or modify the following commands and command sequences:

[ n and [ p
Move focus to the next and prior areas of the screen, respectively. These command sequences are duplicates of the native Ctrl+F6 and Ctrl+Shift+F6 commands and are included for those who prefer to avoid key combinations that require moving the hands away from the home row on the keyboard.
[ t
Move focus to the first tab control on the screen, or the next one if more than one are available and one already has focus.
JAWSKey+F1 typed twice quickly
Opens this document in the default browser.
Says and Brailles, after the title, the name of the displayed program area (Activity, Chats, Teams, Files, etc.), and any indicators ("badges") for missed events, such as chats or team messages.
Ctrl+JAWSKey+V typed three times quickly
Brings up, in a JAWS virtual viewer, a list of the Teams versions so far seen. Each version will be shown with the date on which it was first run with JAWS and these scripts. This is meant to simplify idetntification of problems arising from Teams updates, although the Teams HTML code can change without a corresponding change to the version number.

The scripts also provide the following features:

Using the Calendar Page

Activate the Calendar page with Ctrl+4. Teams offers two calendar views: Day view and Agenda view. A button for the view not currently showing will appear in tab order.

The Day view appears by default and shows meetings in a table, in which Left and Right arrows move among meeting links and Enter on a link populates the Details area from the meeting. In the Agenda view, all meetings for the current week appear in a treeView. Pressing Enter on an meeting again populates the Details area with the details for that meeting. Details can be reached in either view via Tab.

Known Issues

Issues shown in this section may be fixed in future script and/or application revisions but are not addressed as of this writing. Note that specific issues may and may not be present depending on the exact version of Teams HTML or application code running.

In JAWS versions 2019 and older, arrowing through replies in a thread, and possibly in other places, can cause any of the following anomalies:

These problems appear to be fixed in JAWS 2020. Revision 71 of these scripts attempts to mittigate these issues but may sometimes fail to do so, and may sometimes cause silence after an arrow to a new reply. Use the JAWS SayLine command to read any reply that receives focus without speaking, or to verify where focus finally settled after navigation.

TreeView item states (Collapsed and Expanded) are not always properly indicated.

Braille is not well supported in this application.

Some list controls allow navigation with up and down arrows to move out of the list, or to wrap from one end of the list to the other.

Activating one of several unread items in the Activity app on an iOS device clears all unread activities immediately from a simultaneously running instance of Teams on Windows, even though the as-yet unexamined activities remain marked as Unread in iOS. Last verified in Teams version on Windows and 1.0.72 on iOS (April 25, 2019).

Revision History

This is the revision history of these scripts, most recent revision first:

Revision 71, released March 10, 2020
Revision 62, released March 4, 2020