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Re: To all candidates: Debian and people with disabilities

So, the Terminal issue was fixed some time ago, so we don't have to worry about that. That was just an example of a bug which *has* happened before. I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough.

On Tue, Mar 22, 2022 at 5:52 AM Jean-Philippe MENGUAL <jpmengual@debian.org> wrote:

Le 22/03/2022 à 04:10, Devin Prater a écrit :
> Thanks. I tried to think of good, useful questions to spark discussion,
> but I don't know much about the structure of Debian or its project
> leaders. I do think, though, that if the project leader keeps
> accessibility in mind, this will filter down throughout Debian as a whole.

You are right, and thanks to give visibility fot this matter here.

> As far as backports, my problem is enabling it. Normal desktop users
> probably won't even know what that is, and the syntax is rather ugly, to
> me at least. I'd personally like to see accessibility on the same level
> as security or very important bug fix updates, because sometimes they
> are, especially when something like the Terminal bug happened with Orca,
> where Orca couldn't read the Mate Terminal. Another thing is braille
> support. BRLTTY, the package for driving Braille displays, gets updated
> like once every three months or so with support for new Braille displays.

What you describe are issues mainly related to upstream development. The
fact Orca has problems in a terminal (I think I know this) should be
reported and discussedon the orcamailing list, as it is the place where
the development happens. Debian is only a distribution, ie. a place to
make easier getting packages usable. But a distro should not patch so
much a program, in particular it cannot bring new features or fix bugs.
Some maintainers do, but often because they maintain the package and the
program upstream. It is not the case for graphical accessibility tools,
where maintainers in Debian (thanks Samuel, Paul and few others) are
often different from the upstream developers. Tools such as
speech-dispatcher are maintained by accessibility team upstream and in
Debian, for instance.

So the best thing you can do to report such problems is writing to the
orca mailing list so that they are in the todo list of the developer.
And indeed, Orca in a terminal is not optimum.

For braille, the thing is to know if a new version of brltty supports a
display you have and which is not yet supported in stable. Ti is a kind
of program where upgrades are not required as few new features appear,
except sometimes (cut and paste recently introduced in graphical
interface). So if it adds a driver for your device, indeed, a backport
is a good idea.

> This isn't to say that Debian's accessibility is awful; it's one of the
> best among all Linux distributions, because the user is guided from
> installation to first system boot. It's nice. I know the project leader
> can't be everything to all people, and there are legal, security, and
> other community issues, but it would be nice if whoever is elected to
> remember us, and setting aside a day to work on accessibility issues
> would be an amazing start. And since Debian is the root of a lot of
> other distributions, and even the default container in Google's Crostini
> Linux thing, we can show both other FOSS projects, and big
> corporations (corpses) that FOSS doesn't have to only be for people who
> are privileged enough to have all senses and use of their bodies and minds.


> Devin Prater
> r.d.t.prater@gmail.com <mailto:r.d.t.prater@gmail.com>
> On Mon, Mar 21, 2022 at 5:46 PM Samuel Thibault <sthibault@debian.org
> <mailto:sthibault@debian.org>> wrote:
>     Hello,
>     Devin, thanks for bringing accessibility questions in :)
>     Jean-Philippe MENGUAL, le lun. 21 mars 2022 23:37:03 +0100, a ecrit:
>      > Again, not sur the DPL can have a crucial role about this,
>      > unfortunately.
>     I agree, a DPL cannot make current maintainers magically find time to
>     work on issues :)
>      > Perhaps, however, in order to give more visibility to the topic, he
>      > may ping them more frequently during his public statements (Debconf,
>      > bits, debian-news) so make them talk about their work progress.
>     Agreed as well: advertising the will of Debian to progress on this
>     front, and that help is welcome, *can* make new maintainers come up.
>     Samuel

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