Ubuntu Accessibility

Willem van der Walt<willem at top.health.gov.za> willem at top.health.gov.za
Tue Nov 9 01:08:30 CST 2004

All i can say about speakup stability is that it was included in the 
kernel of Redhat 8.  I have also been running some servers with the 
speakup-modified kernel for years with no problems.
The size of the source code is 680 kilobyte.
There are people maintaining kernels for
Fedora, Debian and Slacware with the speakup patched in.
Luke is most likely a better one than me to talk to.  I think he is using 
speakup himsellf
A speakup modified ubuntu as a standard downloadable iso will be the 
easyest, after the option of having speakup included in the standard 
Ubuntu kernel.
Hope this answers most of your questions.
Regards, Willem

On Mon, 8 Nov 2004, Henrik Nilsen Omma wrote:

> Hi Willem,
> I'm copying in Luke Yelavich who knows more about provisions for the blind 
> than I do, and the development list where features for the next release are 
> being discussed. We do currently have the gnopernicus screen reader available 
> in Ubuntu, but I get the impression that the console-based speakup is 
> actually the preferred solution for most people.
> You would obviously prefer that speakup was included in the stock kernel by 
> default, but others might be weary of feature creep. You say that the speakup 
> patch is small, how much does it affect overall performance and stability? If 
> such a default inclusion were not possible, what would be the next best 
> option? Perhaps easy access to it from the installer would work. If you knew 
> from information on the website that pressing F12, say, just after booting 
> the install CD would start the install program with a speech enabled kernel, 
> would that be a good solution? How much extra space on the CD would a speakup 
> patched kernel require? Could it be patched or the module enabled or whatever 
> as part of the install process, or will that always that require a 
> re-compile? 
> I guess the third option is to prepare a separate kernel and make it 
> available via apt. This is less optimal because a blind user would need help 
> with setting up the system and running the apt update before being able to 
> start using it. Who could maintain and test such a module? Does it require 
> any special speech hardware or just a standard sound card?
> Cheers,
>   Henrik
> Willem van der Walt<willem at top.health.gov.za> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I saw a message from you on the gnome accessibility list.
>> I am a blind Linux user since 1996.
>> I also administrated Solaris running Oracle.
>> I am glad to know that Ubuntu is taking accessibility into account, but 
>> have a few questions.
>> 1.  are there any plans to include speakup in the ubuntu kernel, and if 
>> not, why not?  Speakup is the screen reader i am using while writing this.
>> It is a console mode screen reader and stable.  No graphical screen reader 
>> i know of, is yet stable enough to be used in the real world.  We as a 
>> blind Linux using community eagerly awaits a stable accessible javascript 
>> supporting web browser.  There are some programs under X that one would 
>> also like to have access to, but a lot can already be done from the 
>> command line.  Speakup needs to be patched into the kernel.  It has the 
>> advantage that one has speech  from the time init starts running.
>> Speakup can be found at:
>> http://www.linux-speakup.org/speakup.html
>> 2.  Should inclusion in the standard kernel not be an option, might it be 
>> possible to have a custom pre-compiled kernel including speakup available 
>> as a separate download?
>> 3.  Could the YASR screen reading program be included?
>>     YASR does the same job as speakup, reading the text screen.  It cannot 
>> be available as quickly as speakup, but that is not required for every 
>> Linux user.  Both of these are small in size, so it should not upset space 
>> requirements.
>> YASR sits at a higher level and is not Linux specific.  I think it can run 
>> on freebsd as well.
>> There are a number of other projects as well.
>> Emacspeak is an audio desktop.  I suppose it is fantastic once one knows 
>> emacs.  It is the eldest accessibility product for UNIX and is may be 
>> included in Ubuntu.
>> Brltty is a project that supply support for braille displays.
>> May be you can tell me that these things are already included in Ubuntu, 
>> as i haven't installed it and the website does not say much.  If so, I am 
>> sorry for waisting time.  If i can help, let me know.
>> TIA
>> Willem

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