U-M faculty, staff, and students can now take advantage of new features in Zoom video conferencing that support an inclusive campus environment. The features are part of the latest version of Zoom (version 5.7.0), which was released June 21.

Among the new enhancements, members of the U-M community now have the ability to display their gender pronouns as part of their display name in meetings and webinars.

Improvements have also been made to how participants request Live Transcription. Meeting participants and webinar attendees can now request the host enable Live Transcription, anonymously, avoiding interrupting the host to request this verbally or through chat.

Additionally, hosts and co-hosts can now share a screen across all active breakout rooms in a Zoom meeting.

Identifying and removing technological barriers, and looking for new and innovative ways to ensure that every member of the U-M community has a chance to succeed, is something that Information and Technology Services strives for every day.

“Enabling people to represent themselves and participate in virtual meetings and events in ways that are most comfortable to them are important aspects of an inclusive environment,” said Kaylee Bloom, community and programs outreach coordinator at ITS and co-lead of ITS’s DEI program. “Providing Zoom meeting participants with the ability to self-select when and how they share their pronouns will help create brave spaces in which participants have the ability to fully represent themselves in a virtual setting.”

ITS launched U-M Zoom as a videoconferencing service in March 2020, and synchronous and asynchronous transcription capabilities were introduced in June 2020. Zoom releases updates frequently, often more than once per week.

Additional tips and features are available on the ITS website. To take advantage of these new features and enhancements in Zoom, members of the U-M community should update their Zoom app to version 5.7.0 or newer. This version is currently available to most individuals with a U-M account; the features will be available to individuals with HITS-managed CoreImage devices at a later date.

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