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EE Times: Open sourcerers tweak Linux for access

Oct 05, 2000, 12:48 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Adam Marcus)

"The recent commercialization of Linux has brought with it mass appeal, with its open-source status allowing those masses to more easily share tools and solutions. But ease of use is a different issue for the nation's 54 million disabled citizens, and accessibility is a somewhat complex proposition to define."

"Determining what people want and reasonably expect from "accessibility" is something that IBM's T.V. Raman thinks a great deal about. Raman, who lost his sight as a teenager, developed what has become a standard text reader while a graduate student in the computer science department at Cornell University. That program, Emacspeak, permits blind users to write and send e-mail, surf the Web and do most things a sighted user would do."

"Raman, an ardent open sourcerer, wrote the system to work over a Linux platform running on any low-end PC. Indeed, Linux is an excellent, if largely untapped, format for the disabled, particularly the blind, he said."

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