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Re: what wouldbe the most blind friendly distribution of linux



So far, Vinux is about the best blind-friendly distro out of the box. It's based on Ubuntu, so has access to all the same apps and repositories, but many blind-friendly options including detection of Braille displays are set by default. It even has a keyboard shortcut that brings up a list of all available keyboard shortcuts and mouse button functions by typing control-shift-K. Coming from Ubuntu myself, the major changes in some of the keyboard shortcuts and mouse button functions, such as the keyboard command to toggle window maximization state and the mouse buttons used to zoom the screen I'm used to are a bit of a turn-off for me, but you should have no trouble using an out-of-the-box Vinux install.

As for what speech software to use, Vinux includes everything you need on the CD, including a speaking installer when you decide to fully take the plunge.

The only thing I'm unsure about is the Braille display. Having no experience with the displays you mentioned, I will defer to someone else to tell you if they work on Vinux, which does come preloaded with Brltty, Orca and Speakup.

As for OpenOffice, which is your software for working with Word documents, ETC., It's included on the DVD and I believe the USB images, but not on the CD. Note that currently, this means that if you have a 64-bit computer, which is nearly any computer sold within the past year or so, you will need to install OpenOffice separately using the Easy Install Office script, located on your desktop or in your main menu. Hopefully, a 64-bit DVD image will become available for future versions of Vinux.

For other blind-friendly options, I still highly recommend Ubuntu itself. It's a nice, clean user-friendly distro out of the box, and pressing a few keystrokes, namely enter, F5, 3, and then enter twice, gives you a talking desktop along with an installer. Note, however, that Speakup is not included on the Ubuntu CD or DVD, so if you want complete speaking console access, you would need to install and build the Speakup source from the apt repository. I've also read that stock Debian and Fedora are also rather blind-friendly, but I myself haven't worked with Debian in several years and haven't worked with Fedora in even more years. I would definitely recommend Vinux or Ubuntu for someone who is just starting to use Linux and is blind or vision impaired.

~Kyle


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