Making Linux More Accessible
A startling fact is that there are in excess of a billion
people who have some type of disability. That represents approximately
15% of the world's population with a physical, sensory or mental
limitation that interferes with their ability to move, see, hear or
learn. 350 million people in the world are partially sighted or blind.
The faster computer technology evolves, the more excluded these
would become without development in computer software that
seeks to address their needs.
Accessibility is the degree to which products, devices,
services, or environments are available to as many people as possible
whatever their circumstances. Accessibility can be viewed as the
ability to access and benefit from a system or entity. Accessibility is
paramount. Social inclusion is not an act of charity but a fundamental
We have witnessed Linux software and distributions that
have made strides to help make everyone socially inclusive. For
example, the GNOME Accessibility Project develops open source
solutions for graphical user interfaces. Ubuntu has an Accessibility
Team that aims to make Ubuntu usable by a broad a spectrum of people as
possible. Special mention should also go to the Vinux Project, which is
a Ubuntu derived distribution optimised for the needs of blind and
partially sighted users.
There are also lots of individual software applications that
offer different accessibility features. This article seeks to identify
some of the finest open source software that is available that helps to
enable individuals make full use of computer-based technology
whatever their physical or sensory abilities.
So let's explore the 8 universal access tools at hand. For
each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full
description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot,
together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
||Gesture recognition program
speech recognition software
||Scriptable screen reader
large vocabulary continuous speech recognition engine
||Extensible scalable virtual keyboard
on screen keyboard with scanning mode
||Graphical predictive text input system
(graphical) keyboard program
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Last Updated Sunday, November 10 2013 @ 05:43 AM EST