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kdcadet
n00b
n00b


Joined: 19 Jan 2020
Posts: 8
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:56 pm    Post subject: Blind/Visually Impaired Users Reply with quote

Greetings all,

I am visually impaired and use all sorts of software to get around a computer. I was wondering if there are any other Gentoo users who are blind/visually impaired around. If so, I thought we could share some of our experiences making our systems accessible.

I personally need two things to be productive on a computer. magnification and text-to-speech.

On Mac I actually just use the built-in zoom and "speak selected text" features. In Windows I use the Windows Magnifier and a program to pipe selection to microsoft SAPI or just ZoomText, although I don't like how heavy that is.

For magnification, there are some options in Linux. In my experience, the best is KMag, which ships with the plasma desktop environment. The Gnome magnifier had a lot of issues with certain screen elements in the past, although when I tried Ubuntu 20.04 recently the Gnome magnifier seemed to have improved considerably.

For TTS, I managed to install Microsoft SAPI voices with WINE and pipe into them via balabolka CLI version. Even though there are open source alternatives, I do a lot better with the clarity of MS Zira at almost top speed. I listen at almost 200 words per minute, so clarity is important.

If you are blind/visually impaired, please share your experience! I hope we can all learn from each other!

v/r
Igor
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Ant P.
Watchman
Watchman


Joined: 18 Apr 2009
Posts: 6714

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Compiz zoom plugin used to be great for this; there was an option to zoom any focused window to fill the screen automatically. Sadly it's hard to install nowadays.
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kdcadet
n00b
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Joined: 19 Jan 2020
Posts: 8
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ant P. wrote:
The Compiz zoom plugin used to be great for this; there was an option to zoom any focused window to fill the screen automatically. Sadly it's hard to install nowadays.


YES! Compiz was amazing about 10 years ago. I loved the easy binding of zoom to meta+scroll (or whatever else you want). And compiz also had a feature which I forgot to mention is Crucial for me: color inversion. Plasma has (by default and first in the list) a desktop effect which inverts color for screen or per window. This is extremely useful for me. Gnome also has the all screen inversion and there is a Gnome shell extension which does per window inversion ( https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1041/invert-window-color/ ), but I really like how KDE comes with it and the feature is presented prominently in options.
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