"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
"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."