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LinuxPlanet: The StartX Files: Seeing Linux Without Sight

Feb 27, 2001, 16:47 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

"Being blind, one popular misconception maintains, means to give up using the computer to do anything. This is, of course, utter nonsense. Braille screen readers have been around for years, giving visually impaired users the ability to read screens with up to 80 character-lines. There is even an 8-dot Braille system that goes beyond the standard 6-dot Braille and completely mimics the 256-character set most PCs use."

"So using a computer not too difficult of a proposition for the blind. Still, running a windows-based interface is a bit pointless, since what is really only used is the text. And which operating system offers a dizzying array of text-based tools? Anyone from Microsoft want to take a raise their hands? Hm? That's what I thought."

"One of the strongest efforts in making Linux more available to the visually impaired is the BLinux group, who's mailing lists cover the vast range of issues needed to get more access software out there. BLinux coordinates the efforts of several voice applications and Braille device modules, including Emacspeak, BrlTTY, Braifo, and UltraSonix, to name a few screen readers."

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