"Blind computers users had more difficulty than most people
when they made the transition from DOS to Windows. Would a switch
to Linux be as great a problem? Saqib Shaikh thinks it would
instead make their computing experience easier and richer."
"In the early 1990s, many blind people were using computers
running MS-DOS. Many of them had good jobs as computer operators or
programmers. Once Microsoft Windows appeared, employers wanted
people who could use Windows word processors and follow
instructions such as "Click on the green blob on the left to start
Word." They wanted programmers who could write programs for Windows
(which functionally were the same as the DOS ones) with fancy
graphics which took advantage of features such as drivers and
libraries not available under DOS. This left the blind computer
user unable to use Windows for the next two or three years, while
usable Windows screen readers were developed."
"You may be thinking, "Why do I want to know about Linux if this
is what is going to happen again?" But hang on -- while the
scenario may be similar, the outcome need not be."
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