Re: [orca-list] Universal access [was "Re: Indicators [was "Re: Connecting to a wireless network"]"]


On 8/12/2011 1:44 PM, Christopher Chaltain wrote:
All laudable goals, but let's not lose sight of the gains we've also
made. I switched from Windows to Linux a few months ago, thanks to the
vinux distribution. I tried doing this several times over the last
decade, but I wasn't successful until just now. I think this says a lot
about how far the state of Linux accessibility has come.

Agree. I'm not using Linux as my main OS, but it has certainly become less annoying to use as of late. Before, I was die-hard CLI. Now I can actually use the GNOME environment without cringing at how laggy Orca is in Firefox and huge lists of files. Obviously there's room for improvement (e.g, Orca performance in Firefox can still use a big boost and accuracy check, as well as general responsiveness is not as good as the Windows counterparts with NVDA). That being said, things are a bit better and will hopefully improve steadily.

Universal access across distributions and operating systems is a
laudable goal, but how realistic is it really? Is this a situation where
we'd just be tilting at windmills? I mean if everyone could agree then
we wouldn't have so many distributions and operating systems in the
first place.

This is Linux's biggest fault. On one hand, you have 200+ distributions to pick from, and probably only 10-15 of those are actually accessible without having major issues. And that's probably a bit too positive. I don't just mean they stuck Orca in and left it at that, I mean actually having a snappy, well-put together OS that isn't going to need a boatload of configuring for the nooby. For noobs and Linux, Ubuntu and/or Vinux is really their only GUI option where they can use various Windows apps natively under Linux and gradually move into the Linux world. People will probably say we should all use Arch, but not everybody can just pick up a Linux book and start configuring their Arch system to their heart's content. As far as consoles go, Speakup is the solution, or Emacspeak, it's the GUI in all its flavors that really puts us blind and other disabled people on the brink of falling behind the pack.

Finally, I don't consider these questions to be trivial. I have a job
right now that requires I have access to Linux, I can access wireless
networks, I can use IRC, I can read email and so on. I need answers to
these questions now if I'm going to keep my job. I can't wait for these
questions to be answered or these issues to be addressed until after we
have universal access across distributions and operating systems. I just
can't wait that long.

Yes indeed. Universal access? What does this actually even mean? To me, it means not just the visually impaired user of technology, but the deaf and physically handicapped. Speech recognition under Linux is lacking or so I've heard, and there's probably other areas where Linux doesn't even scratch the surface of what needs to be done for other disabled individuals to effectively use their machines. Having universsal access will probably never happen. Nobody really likes getting involved in the nitty-gritty, and all the really awesome coders are finding big buck jobs and using Windows, or at the most, Linux as a server for websites etc.

People need to start coming to major conclusions if we want something to get done on a more global/distrowide level. I'm on some other a11y Linux lists for various distros, and all they seem to do is bitch and moan about needing to make plans, and then argue amongst themselves about how to target accessibility in their distro, which leads to lots of quoted messages and arguments about the argument that started the initial argument about arguing about accessibility and usability, which in turn brings in another longwinded string of stuff hardly related to accessibility in the first place. In short, instead of coding, they're all just trying to figure out how to implement a11y and the result is almost no progress, at least in my eyes. Why don't people just start coding and experimenting rather than checking with the big elitists if it's OK? The community will decide in the end if their efforts are good or not.

Now, to back up my whinefest, I'm actually learning Python. It's been slow going, as I have a real life, but I'm going to eventually try helping instead of blowing hot air.

Oh, and yeah, a unified hotkey on any Linux distro to bring up accessibility options would be welcome. Now we'd just need to get the actual access there. Fluxbox, IseWM, and other obscure windowmanagers, anyone? Oh, what about Puppy Linux? Still not accessible. Why? It's too hard. Boo hoo!

On 12/08/11 10:30, Frost wrote:
        Hello all,

        Sure would be nice if some of these accessibility functions
could be added to the LSB the way the filesystem is.  We have Alt+F2 and
type orca, Mickeysoft has Windows+U...dunno what Apple has.  Because it
sure as hell be nice to press a certain keystroke and get the accessible
installation, plus it sure would save a hell of a lot of posts on, "How
do I install Ubuntu, or GRML, or Arch, or Debian, etc., etc., etc.
Universal Access isn't very universal at all with no standards from one
distribution to another, let alone from one operating system to another.

        When are we going to make universal Access universal?  When will
we be able to press a key, no matter which LSB compliant distro and get
an accessible installation, or have a screen reader/magnifier start up?
When are we going to stop monkeying around with the trivial crap and
actually do something intelligent for ourselves?  When are we
handicapped going to become part of the Linux Standards Base?


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