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Thread: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

  1. #1
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    Smile Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    Hello everyone,

    does anyone know to what extent Ubuntu can be adjusted to allow visually impaired people, e.g. people who are almost blind and need a magnifier to read, to really use it?

    My guess is that everything is possible, but I couldn't find any wiki pages out there explain in detail what kind of packages need to be installed, how to proceed, etc. - maybe it would even be reasonable to start a new member of the *buntu family - after all, a christian version is already out there, but in my opinion, something like a OS for disabled people with all kinds of adjustments already made or braille ready, would be more pressing?

    Does anyone know more about this? Sorry if this has already been covered.

    Thanks,
    Stephan

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfabel View Post
    Hello everyone,

    does anyone know to what extent Ubuntu can be adjusted to allow visually impaired people, e.g. people who are almost blind and need a magnifier to read, to really use it?

    My guess is that everything is possible, but I couldn't find any wiki pages out there explain in detail what kind of packages need to be installed, how to proceed, etc. - maybe it would even be reasonable to start a new member of the *buntu family - after all, a christian version is already out there, but in my opinion, something like a OS for disabled people with all kinds of adjustments already made or braille ready, would be more pressing?

    Does anyone know more about this? Sorry if this has already been covered.

    Thanks,
    Stephan
    I very much like this idea of having a flavor of Ubuntu geared specifically towards low-sighted individuals.

    Perhaps some of the more "fluent" Ubuntu users could prepare a special version of Ubuntu that caters to these needs a la Reconstructor (or for a LiveCD, Intellibuild or linux-live.org?

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    This site (Blinux) may be grossly outdated, but I found it on the Web and thought I'd post it anyhow.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    There's plenty of access to options to make text bigger, more contrast in colours, etc. around the operating system. There's also some good accessibility programs installed by default but just not on the menu by default.

    I don't think a new version is needed but a good document/wiki page on the subject is a must.

    There's pretty good awareness in linux nowerdays so I think the efforts have already been made to make the system usable by the visually impaired but, as is the case with so many useful linux things, it's just needing to make the end user aware of them.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stex View Post
    There's plenty of access to options to make text bigger, more contrast in colours, etc. around the operating system. There's also some good accessibility programs installed by default but just not on the menu by default.

    I don't think a new version is needed but a good document/wiki page on the subject is a must.

    There's pretty good awareness in linux nowerdays so I think the efforts have already been made to make the system usable by the visually impaired but, as is the case with so many useful linux things, it's just needing to make the end user aware of them.
    You make some good points. However, imagine if there was a distro/flavor that catered to the specific needs of a low-sighted / visually impaired user out of the box, e.g., one where zero configuration is necessary. An Ubuntu flavor such as this would be a boon to users who may find it difficult to configure apps, etc., due to their impairment.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfabel View Post
    Hello everyone,

    does anyone know to what extent Ubuntu can be adjusted to allow visually impaired people, e.g. people who are almost blind and need a magnifier to read, to really use it?

    My guess is that everything is possible, but I couldn't find any wiki pages out there explain in detail what kind of packages need to be installed, how to proceed, etc. - maybe it would even be reasonable to start a new member of the *buntu family - after all, a christian version is already out there, but in my opinion, something like a OS for disabled people with all kinds of adjustments already made or braille ready, would be more pressing?

    Does anyone know more about this? Sorry if this has already been covered.

    Thanks,
    Stephan
    There are high-contrast themes available for visually impaired people - and font size and resolution can be altered to accomodate your impairment. I feel that a seperate version is unnecessary, as all versions of Ubuntu can be customised to take impairments into account. There are also a number of text-to-speech synthesizers available, and I'm fairly sure there are a number of applications which allow text to speech to be 'built in' to them, although having no first hand experience of this, I can't confirm it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    you should check out some of beryls accessibility features such as input enabled zoom and negative windows http://www.beryl-project.org/features.php

  8. #8
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    Smile Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    I feel that a seperate version is unnecessary, as all versions of Ubuntu can be customised to take impairments into account.
    Be that as it may, if you're visually impaired, there's no way for you to be able to customize it accordingly. My point is that if there is a "Christian Ubuntu" edition, which is barely different than the regular Ubuntu except with some extra applications installed, things like this are far more reasonable and - closer to the motto "Linux for human beings".

    I am aware that there are visibility themes and several options to make things easier - but again there's no list or web page that lists the instructions to adjust everything accordingly.

    Who am I to talk about this - of course I could just start another wiki page. But before I do, I want to make sure that there's nobody out there knowing more about this than I do (which is about nothing).

    So, why not start something like a project. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; maybe just a wiki page where we start looking at what's out there, and how and if it can be installed easily. I have no previous experience in creating wiki pages or starting something like this, but if there's enough people out there who would help me, I'd consider doing it.

    Cheers,
    Stephan

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfabel View Post
    Be that as it may, if you're visually impaired, there's no way for you to be able to customize it accordingly. My point is that if there is a "Christian Ubuntu" edition, which is barely different than the regular Ubuntu except with some extra applications installed, things like this are far more reasonable and - closer to the motto "Linux for human beings".

    I am aware that there are visibility themes and several options to make things easier - but again there's no list or web page that lists the instructions to adjust everything accordingly.

    Who am I to talk about this - of course I could just start another wiki page. But before I do, I want to make sure that there's nobody out there knowing more about this than I do (which is about nothing).

    So, why not start something like a project. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; maybe just a wiki page where we start looking at what's out there, and how and if it can be installed easily. I have no previous experience in creating wiki pages or starting something like this, but if there's enough people out there who would help me, I'd consider doing it.

    Cheers,
    Stephan
    I can understand what you're saying, but where's the cut off point? Should we make everything high-contrast, large font etc, to satisfy the needs of the disadvantaged? There has to be a point where the person who has some impairment takes a little time out to satisfy their own needs. I'm not trying to sound cruel or anything, but surely you can understand what I'm saying? How does the person ever find 'Dubuntu: Ubuntu for the disadvantaged'? Does google have to make everything high contrast and big? Does Windows have to, so they can get online in the first place? Do we have to make keyboards in the same manner, so that people can see what they're typing, and put 'OS for people with visual impairment' into a search engine? Where do we stop? They'll never find your version of Ubuntu if we accept that customising Ubuntu to suit them personally is impossible. Aside from that - by the time it takes to download and install this version of Ubuntu, they could just have gone to System > Preferences, and done everything they needed to. Ubuntu already has an accessibility menu specifically for this kind of thing. Creating an entirely new version of Ubuntu is completely unnecessary. Perhaps you should look into creating a script or a piece of software which customises Ubuntu to be more accessible for these users. I really don't see the point in creating yet another version of Ubuntu when everything is already possible in just a few clicks. Yes, it may be a bit of a struggle to get to the customisation options, but they've survived this far. I don't think Ubuntu is going to kill anyone by not being low res, high contrast from the get-go.

    That being said: do whatever you feel like. The point of Ubuntu is that you can do this if you feel like it. I just think it's overkill and a waste of time, but it's your choice.

    EDIT: Woops! Apologies, completely misread the suggestion I am absolutely fine with a wiki or something detailing how to customise Ubuntu. The Ubuntu wiki itself is free to edit, it's easy to start a new topic and write about it:
    Ubuntu Wiki
    Last edited by Tomosaur; January 15th, 2007 at 05:36 PM.

  10. #10
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    Smile Re: Ubuntu for visually impaired people?

    I found this, but the page apparently doesn't exist yet.

    Does anyone know who edited the TOC to include a link to a document that doesn't exist? Does anyone know how I could find out?

    I guess I'm asking
    1. how to get started with wiki
    2. where to ask about people who are already active about this (someone apparently already thought of creating this page)

    Thanks,
    Stephan

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