Universal access

BRLTTY – gives a braille user access to the text consoles

BRLTTY gives a braille user access to the text consoles of a Linux/Unix system. It runs as a background process (daemon) which operates a refreshable braille display, and can be started very early in the system boot sequence. It enables a braille user, therefore, to easily independently handle aspects of system administration such as single user mode entry, file system recovery, and boot problem analysis. It even greatly eases such routine tasks as logging in.

BRLTTY reproduces a rectangular portion of the screen (referred to within this document as `the window’) as braille text on the display. Controls on the display can be used to move the window around on the screen, to enable and disable various viewing options, and to perform special functions.

This is free and open source software.

Features include:

  • Full implementation of the usual screen review facilities.
  • Choice between block, underline, or no cursor.
  • Optional underline to indicate specially highlighted text.
  • Optional use of blinking (rates individually settable) for cursor, special highlighting underline, and/or capital letters.
  • Screen freezing for leisurely review.
  • Intelligent cursor routing, allowing easy fetching of cursor within text editors, web browsers, etc., without moving ones hands from the braille display.
  • A cut-and-paste function (linear or rectangular) which is particularly useful for copying long file names, copying text between virtual terminals, entering complicated commands, etc.
  • Table driven in-line contracted braille (English and French provided).
  • Support for multiple braille codes.
  • Ability to identify an unknown character.
  • Ability to inspect character highlighting.
  • An on-line help facility for braille display commands.
  • A preferences menu.
  • Basic speech support.
  • Modular design allowing relatively easy addition of drivers for other braille displays and speech
  • synthesizers.
  • An Application Programming Interface.

Website: brltty.app
Support: Documentation, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: The BRLTTY Developers
License: GNU Lesser General Public License

BRLTTY is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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