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Re: Accessibility in Debconf BoF


To save you digging in gobby, here are the notes we had put there for
the BoF.


Note: previous talk on 

What is accessibility?
  aka a11y
  Making Software usable by all people
  including disabled: blind, low vision, deaf, colorblind, one-handed, finger-handed, "eye-handed", speech impaired, cognition, elderly, ...
  See Accessibility HOWTOs

  Braille input/output
  Speech synthesis
  Press button
Don't focus on one technology
  Braille is not perfect (expensive, not everybody can read it, ...)
  Speech synthesis is not perfect (noisy environment, accurateness, deaf, ...)

Dedicated software
  firevox, self-voicing apps, ...
  Generally a bad idea
    lack of manpower: javascript support, OOo document support, ...
  Better use the same software
    In particular to get help & work with others.
  Better make existing applications accessible

State of the Art
  Text mode apps usually accessible
    Particularly when the cursor automatically goes to a sensible place.
  Gnome being accessible (since about 2004)
  OpenOffice being accessible, still cumbersome, but some people use it in everyday work
  KDE should get accessible Real Soon Now
  We're late compared to Windows

What you developer can do
  Design your application without gui in mind first
    Logical order, just like CSS ☺
  Provide text equivalents, based on shared libraries or backend daemons (wicd!!!)
  For text application, put the cursor in a sensible place
    To guide screen readers
  Take users suggestions into consideration
    E.g. bracketed links in text web browsers
  Try to test it yourself!
    gnome-terminal+brltty / accerciser / gnome-orca

How about Debian?

Debian Installer
  Braille & speech work!

  Adding AT-SPI to the debian installer
    Add zoom/gok/... support?

Debian Distribution
  Text-based distribution
    Installation, configuration, ...
  Please maintain this alternative!

  A plethora of software, often text equivalents
    Mpg321, mc, o3tohtml...
  Please continue packaging those!

How to test?

Debian Installer
  basically, install kvm and brltty, wget http://d-i.debian.org/daily-images/i386/daily/netboot/gtk/mini.iso and run
  $ /sbin/brltty -b xw -x no -A auth=none,host=
  $ BRLAPI_HOST= kvm -usbdevice braille -cdrom mini.iso
  Also give a try to the speech synthesis boot option (just enable soundcard in kvm command line to test it in a VM).

Graphical applications
  note: will be temporarily broken in testing/unstable with gnome3/at-spi2 transition
  easy way is to enable the braille monitor
  Please mute your sound card before proceeding, so it's not a mess
  install gnome-orca, run it in a terminal (run orca), use gnome-speech and espeak for simplicity, enable braille and braille monitor. It will prompt you to re-login your whole gnome session to enable accessibility
  Note: if you chose the laptop layout, the orcakey will be capslock; if you chose the desktop layout, the orcakey will be insert
  in new gnome session, re-start orca
  browse into your application (try gobby-0.5 for instance, there are a few shortcomings)
    just with the standard keybindings
    with flat review mode: press orcakey+p, then use orcakey+j or l and orcakey+ctrl+j or l to move around.
  start accerciser to access the exact information that orca has access to.
   (possibility for automated GUI testing)
Text applications
  See http://brl.thefreecat.org/text-apps-a11y-test.html


Some ideas: packaging
  Tag your packages: interface::text-mode, uitoolkit::gtk
  Add package tags?
  Install "required" accessibility package by default
    those that some people can't use a computer without
    way to enable them

More general ideas
  Getting more people involved
    Subscribe to debian-accessibility
  Keep debian.org accessible
    It is great atm, without us even having had to ask! (even mentioned in their talk)
  Add an “accessibility” chapter to the New Maintainers' guide
  Add “accessibility” questions to the NM process (*after* adding the documentation above of course :) )

  Add an "accessibility" section to Derivatives Guidelines
  Add an “accessibility” tag to bugs
    Cc-ed to debian-accessibility
  archive Accessibility section?

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