SuSE-Blinux: a new Screenreader; Debian? (fwd)
(Forward it to interested deb-devels if necessary or to ther right
Hi, I have on one pc the very great chance to use Debian 2.1 with a
hardware braille-display. But actually on another pc I'm suffering from
the refusal of my old braille display (not brltty supported) to let
me work under Deb. So on pc1 I've a great pleasure to work, on another
nothing more than frustration!
Okay there is now an Ocularis project around Deb. But blind do
prefer braille; SuSE seems to have understood this.
Then, what about braille support and voice while installing for Deb ???
Is Ocularis the one and only idea ? Is there any release date ?
SuSE did it; but I LOVE DEBIAN and want to continue using Deb,
without having to change. DEB is GREAT! I thing deb is a good dist
for blind, because of a much developed console-mode philosiphy/apps.
In general ways I do appreciate much more the Debian philosophy.
Short inst experience journal:
to solve on my 2nd pc this access problem, my friend Frederic Peters
(Deb devel), have tried to install screader + Festival:
impossible to run this combination (75 % of total processor capacity is
used for that)!!! If devs are happend, I recommend the porting of
Euler (tts) + mbrola for Linux; see http://tcts.fpms.ac.be
link to Mbrola.
Now follows the article.
Grtnx, Osvaldo La Rosa - Deb user - BE
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2000 16:02:07 +0200
>Maybe the folloing article about the new Sscreen-reader SuSE-Blinux
>is interesting for some of you...
>SuSE Linux 7.0 suitable for partially sighted and blind people
>The first Linux-distribution which supports installation and
>Since the mid-eighties, more and more partially sighted and blind
>people have been able to work on computers. This was made possible
>by the invention of the Braille-device (Braille-Zeile). This is an
>additional device which is connected to the serial port of the PC.
>Via the Braille-device, the blind person can read the information
>displayed on the
>screen line by line and check his/her own entries.
>As part of the new version 7.0, SuSE Linux has now developed the
>screen reader SuSE Blinux - a piece of software which enables
>partially sighted and blind people to work with Linux comfortably.
>SuSE Blinux is neither an independent distribution nor a kernel
>patch but rather a so-called daemon, i.e. a program that runs in
>the background. One advantage of this
>is that SuSE Blinux does not compromise system security in any way.
>Furthermore, blind users have unrestricted use of all applications
>new SuSE Linux version which run on the text console. They can even
>compile their own kernel.
>During the boot-process of the installation-CD the system
>recognises a Braille-device, if connected to the system. If this is
>the case, the SuSE-specific installation tool Yast2 switches to
>text-mode. At the same time, even before the LogIn, the screen
>reader is started. This makes SuSE
>Linux the only system in the world which offers Braille-support
>during installation. Blind users can follow the complete
>LogIn-process and install and configure their own system. They can
>then work on the text console, using the Braille device and
>possibly a voice system.
>Braille writing, as it is taught in schools, is made up of a
>combination of 6 dots per character. Computer-Braille, however,
>uses 8-dot combinations. In this way all 256 characters which can
>be displayed on the
>screen can also be output in a Braille module. More options for
>transferring the information from the screen become available. E.g.
>and upper case letters or various colours can be differentiated. All
>who are familiar with 6-dot Braille will not find it difficult to
>to 8-dot Braille. Reading Braille information from a Braille device
>however, require disproportionately more effort from the user:
>While users without sight-impairments can scan the screen at a
>glance and pick out the relevant data, blind users have to work
>their way through the screen contents line by line.
>This is why SuSE Blinux supports the user during screen navigation
>by putting the Braille device at the position of the relevant
>put it more clearly: The Braille device represents exactly that
>line on the screen on which the cursor is currently positioned.
>Data which are not
>relevant at the moment are of course still available on the screen.
>With every move of the cursor the Braille device jumps to the
>current line of the cursor. Therefore, the user can immediately
>follow any changes on the
>screen. Cursor routing, e.g. for correction purposes, can be
>special buttons above the characters on the Braille device. With
>these, the cursor can be placed on any character. In this way blind
>users can operate all applications which are cursor-based. All
>actions which are not
>immediately visible on the Braille device are communicated through
>For each application special settings can be specified which
>application in more detail. These settings are called ?profiles?.
>In the profiles, attributes, i.e. particular settings, can be
>specified. One such
>attribute could be an instruction such as ?display the text from
>line 3 onwards? or ?display the block with the menu contents only?.
>Various function keys help with the use of attributes and the
>display of text. Bold script for example can be represented through
>a specific colour. This
>colour is assigned to a particular function key or combination of
>keys. All function keys can be freely assigned. Specific key
>combinations can be
>used to set markers for important information: pre-defined lines on
>the screen can then be accessed directly.
>To make working on the computer even easier, SuSE Blinux can be
>used to control a hardware synthesizer. This synthesizer provides
>voice support to
>the user. Basically, voice output delivers all the information
>available on the screen. The user is supported during the
>navigation in that only the relevant data are read initially. As
>with text output, special conditions or settings, so-called
>language filters, can be defined in the
>profiles for language output. Special abbreviations or characters
>are specified which are read as a complete word, a sentence, a
>signal or as limitations during voice output. Possible commands
>could be "Read the whole screen ", "Read the line only" or "Spell
>the word". Depending on the synthesizer used, several languages
>can be reproduced (- the software
>does not influence this).
>SuSE Blinux offers automatic profile switching: the program
>application displayed on the screen and makes the necessary
>adjustments. Configuration files can be specified not just for
>but also for specific users. This means that every user can specify
>his/her own profiles or language filters. As soon as he/she logs in
>to a machine, his/her individual settings are available. This could
>be particularly interesting for users such as schools.
>One of the major advantages of SuSE Blinux is that it allows users
>to handle Internet applications to a very large extent. Many
>text-based applications run under Linux. This facilitates the use
>of the internet for
>blind people enormously. Thanks to SuSE Blinux, used with a Braille
>or voice output, surfing the net or sending email via Pine are not a
>problem. Support for SuSE Blinux will be offered from the very
>current plans specify that on two days per week, for 5 hours each,
>specialists will be available on the phone and via email to answer
>all questions and offer competent advice on more complex problems.
>A further advantage: screen readers usually cost between DM 200 and
>DM 5000. The new
>SuSE Linux version 7.0 offers the screen reader free-of-charge!
>There are many different types of Braille-devices available. The
>more sophisticated devices with 80 characters correspond to the
>length of a normal line on the screen and represent the information
>as it is. Braille-devices with 40 characters, however, offer half
>the normal line on
>the screen. Cost will be a major factor when deciding on a
>as the difference in price is still considerable. SuSE Blinux
>supports commonly used Braille devices from the major
>manufacturers: all Braille-devices supplied by the German companies
>Papenmeier and Handytech
>and by the Dutch company Alva are compatible. When it comes to the
>manufacturer Baum, only the Vario40 and 80 are supported. Further
>other models is in progress.
>Homepage of SuSE:
>Blinux-list mailing list
>Blinux-announce mailing list
osvalDo la rOSa
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