linux for blinds
You might remember me, I had asked a few months ago concerning the
projects that existed for blinds.
I've set up a new system based on a debian with several modes:
The newbie installation is done under freedos (don't stone me, this is a
way to ensure that their software braille device will be able to display
the installation), it is very basic, only ask for the minimum and sets
up two loopbacks (ext2/ext3 and swap) on the windows partition (we have
someone working on the ntfs driver for dos), this way people having
windows can smoothly try linux and remove it very easily if they don't
This installation can automatically set up brltty, (port/brand/...)
which is the program to drive braille displays (and a few synthesis)
There is also a vocal mode, with an ogg player for people unable or not
willing to pay for a braille display, the installation is the same
except that screader (it drives speech synthesis) will be loaded with
mbrola (good speech synthesis, 25 languages, free but sadly enough not
open source). (Other speech synthesis such as festival and eflite could
of course be set up afterwards.
Last but not least, I recently talked with Mr Lang about making this
system much more attracting for experienced blind users. Since during
the installation, we get all the informations to set up a braille
display using brltty, we could for example write directly this
configuration to a floppy (or anywhere else). Then rebooting the pc,
they'd boot on a modified debian cd, this version of d-i would parse the
configuration, load brltty and lead them to a normal installation using
This way we could have on the same cd, the possibility to give blinds a
first try of linux, and also a 'true' debian installation.
Our installation is currently translated into 17 languages.
Let me know what you think about it,
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