Re: Linux desktop accessibility demo - which programs should I install

Hi Eduardo,

I second Henrik's suggestion: Ubuntu Edgy is a very nice demo environment. I like to demo first keyboard accessibility features (no need for the mouse to control things; then show StickyKeys, MouseKeys, etc.); then theming (high contrast, large print, etc.); and finally AT like Orca and Dasher and GOK.

Ubuntu Edgy comes with Orca & Festival English. You'll need to apt-get install gok if you want to show that, and apt-get install other voices for Festival. Another thing to consider is purchasing and installing a commercial TTS engine like DECtalk. Users of commercial Windows screen readers expect a level of quality in their computer speech, and many in your potential audience may find it difficult to separate the quality of the voice (e.g. Festival) from the quality of the overall solution (e.g. Orca + GNOME + UNIX/Linux). Going with something like DECtalk (cost of $50) addresses that nicely; then following that up showing Orca with Festival to demonstrate a completely free (as in beer & speech) solution gets important points across without first potentially disappointing them with today's free but sluggish performance.


Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Eduardo Trápani wrote:

I'll talking about accessibility in general and I would love to show a (more or less) working linux desktop solution for blind people since everybody I know uses Jaws/Windows :(.

What should I install to be able to show that? Gnome, KDE, it does not matter as long as it works and is stable enough to show it working.

I am not objective WRT to this question, but I will nonetheless point out that if you download the latest Ubuntu Live CD from here: (called 'desktop') you will be able to try it with Orca and Festival pre-installed (English only). Press F5 at the first boot screen to choose from different accessibility features.

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