New accessibility features in Windows 11 22H2 are coming to make Windows 11 devices more meaningful.
In addition to audio and video recordings, this functionality will allow live, on-the-fly captioning for apps like Skype and Zoom, where you may be speaking with another person. A resizable Live Captions app window, which may be docked to the top or bottom of the screen or appear as a floating window, displays live captions.
In order for live captions to work even if the PC is unavailable, the software leverages on-device artificial intelligence (AI).
Using Start search, type “live captions” and press Enter. Accessibility > Accessibility > Select “Live captions” from the drop-down menu. Winkey + CTRL + L (Alternatively, you can type WINKEY + CTRL + L).
In the Live captions window, the settings gear displays a pop-up menu with Position, Caption options, Caption style, and Learn more buttons. The same Caption choices that were previously accessible in Windows in Settings > Accessibility > Captions are used in Live Captioning.
Access to a speakerphone
In addition to voice typing and Windows Speech Recognition, voice access allows you to control Windows with your voice. To activate it, go to Accessibility > Speech > Voice access in the Settings app and select the option to activate voice access when Windows starts.
Voice access also makes use of a small pane, but instead of appearing at the bottom of the screen, it sits at the very top. Speak the command “voice access wake up” to enable Voice Access. Then you can use one of the many available commands to direct the action on the screen. You’ll often see things like: ‘click [item name],’ ‘double-click [item name],”maximize window,’ ‘change to [app name],’ and so on.
The full list of voice commands can be found here: “I don’t know what to say.”
A teardrop-shaped and numbering overlay will appear over various items if you give a voice command that could have many meanings. Saying “click the desktop,” for example, gives me many options depending on what’s displayed. After that, all I have to do is name the number of the person whose item I want to select. However, you can also use “display numbers” to place overlays on non-named things so that you can select anything.
It’s possible to display a grid (e.g., “show grid”), and then drill down deeper using commands like “grid 2” to fine-tune a selection, and dictate and edit text with “select that” and other similar commands.
A selection of more natural-sounding (i.e. less robotic-sounding) voices has been added to Narrator in Windows 11 version 22H2. After the initial download, these will function normally even if you don’t have access to the internet. Click on the Add natural voices button next to the Add settings option in Settings > Accessibility > Narrator.
In Narrator settings, the “Choose a voice” drop-down under Narrator’s voice will include any natural voices you have installed. Like other voices, natural voices can be manipulated in terms of speed, pitch, and volume.
Even while these new capabilities are amazing and each addresses a specific need, Live Captions is a particularly interesting choice because it can be used by anybody, not just people with a hearing disability. Although captions’ availability has increased over the years because not all audio/video content, especially live chats, has them, we now prefer to use them due to our deaf son.