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Thread: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

  1. #1
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    Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Currently, I'm using Gnome 2/Classic in Ubuntu 11.04, with workrave, a patch for the touchpad, and various fixes to restore and widen the scrollbars. I'm getting all sorts of bugs from the update manager. I'd install 10.04 LTS but the patch for the touchpad requires at least 11.04 so I can't do that. I'd like to find an accessible and still-supported version of Linux which fits my needs:

    1. I am not a programmer.

    2. I have trouble with manual coordination: can't form a conventional pencil grip, can't use 'tapping' on touchpads, can't hold most styli, and can't type two-handed. Also can't avoid accidentally 'tapping' on touchpads, so it's important to be able to disable tapping.

    3. I have various arm injuries, and scrollwheels give a stabbing pain in the back of my hand.

    4. I have a lot of trouble with visible-on-mouseover features, like the broken scrollbars. Also invisible features and excessively small buttons/narrow features which are too hard to select are a problem.

    5. I use LibreOffice a lot, and often have two or three documents, in the same program, open at once.

    6. [New] I don't have much experience with joysticks, but I understand that an analog joystick might be an alternative to a mouse.

    What versions of Linux would people suggest? I tried Xubuntu 11.10 but had a bad install and found I couldn't disable the touchpad in it, so went back to Ubuntu 11.04.

    [New] Does anyone have experience using joysticks in place of mice?
    Last edited by MarjaE; July 17th, 2012 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Found the Assistive Technology and Accessibility forum. Perhaps this should be moved there?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Magic City of the Plains
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    Hidden!
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Moved to Assistive Technology & Accessibility.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    KDE is very configurable and that might be useful for you, some ideas:

    - To deactivate the touchpad while typing you can install kde-config-touchpad and the option will be available under system settings.

    - In mouse settings you can choose to use the numeric keyboard arrow keys to move the mouse pointer.

    - In keyboard settings you can activate "sticky keys" if key combinations like ctrl+c are problematic.

    - Bear in mind that most programs can be used without a mouse. In Libreoffice's menus the underlined letters indicate that that option is accessible with alt+<letter>

    just some ideas.

  5. #5
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    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    I'm probably going to need to switch soon.

    Anyway...

    Typing hurts. Mousing hurts. Typing more doesn't improve things.

    Unity was an utter unusable disaster for me. One reason is because I often go back and forth between different documents. I'm not sure how anyone would use a computer without going back and forth between different documents, such as two sets of typed-up notes, and the sources. Gnome 2 made that relatively easy. Unity made that much more difficult, and besides, made finding things much more difficult.

    I looked over Kubuntu again, and the Wikipedia article says it's full of eye candy. If that means nonsense like visible-on-mouseover features/bugs, like animations, like deleting the scrollbars, etc. then so it won't be accessible for me. If it uses the same workflow approach as Unity it won't be very usable for me either.

    Sorry to rant but I'm coping with non-stop arm pain, or not coping as the case may be, and I want to get things sorted out.

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Quote Originally Posted by MarjaE View Post
    I looked over Kubuntu again, and the Wikipedia article says it's full of eye candy. If that means nonsense like visible-on-mouseover features/bugs, like animations, like deleting the scrollbars, etc. then so it won't be accessible for me. If it uses the same workflow approach as Unity it won't be very usable for me either.
    No, no visible on-mousover things or dissapearing scrollbars in KDE. Also it has a bottom panel in which the open documents appear, like in Gnome 2 or Windows.

    I suggested KDE because it is very customizable and there are higher chances that you find a configuration that suits you, but only you can judge that.

    Why don't you download Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu, burn them to CD and actually try them?

  7. #7
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    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Because I've had to download a patch just to fix the touchpad...

    When you need to customize a lot of things, the live cd doesn't really work. I installed Xubuntu last year assuming I'd be able to customize everything I need to. I was wrong. I wasn't able to customize the touchpad settings because Xubuntu didn't even have touchpad settings. I also had a lot of trouble with a buggy installer [it kept demanding an internet connection *during the install process*], which led to trouble with a buggy system [the system clock was always wrong, and I couldn't reset it, and I only broke things trying].

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Hi,

    Maybe you can have a look at Linux Mint 13 Maya MATE DESKTOP with Gnome 2.0 It is in fact Ubuntu 12.04 core but with new features of "old" Gnome 2.0 Maybe it will be very useful to you. Take a look here

    http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2031

    I hope that you find what you are looking for
    ! Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    25

    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Hi,

    Maybe eViacam [1] might help you to use less the mouse.

    [1] http://viacam.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    278

    Re: Looking for an accessible version of Linux due to arm/hand issues

    Was strongly considering Kubuntu, but after the latest news about 12.10, which I don't quite believe, I hope to find an independent ad-free spyware-free Linux.

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