Question for anybody who uses a screenreader or other accessibility software on GNU/Linux, or knows anything about them: What DE/WM should I recommend to someone who wants to try using one?
I have a friend who's blind and deaf, and his main system runs Debian with no gui installed. He uses BRLTTY to read his TTY with a mechanical braille display.
He also has two windows systems that he uses for some things, with NVDA and JAWS set to output to his braille display.
He emailed me recently saying that he's fed up with a lot of the things Microsoft is doing with Windows 10, and he wants to try using a GUI on his Debian system so he can browse websites that won't work from a terminal browser, and do other things that he's using the windows computers for right now.
Has anyone tried using a few DEs with a screenreader? I think anything that works well with a screenreader should work with his braille device. boosts appreciated

@theonefreeman not a Screenreader user myself, but I've supported a few in recent times

both Gnome and KDE have pretty thorough AT-SPI support for the DE itself. Xfce has been working toward it, and may be worth a try. The challenge will be apps; the accessibility model works great for apps that make accessibility system interaction investments, but rough otherwise


@Calcifer @vfrmedia Thanks! I'll have him try those. I think the main thing he wants to use the gui for is a graphical web browser, he may not use many other apps.

@theonefreeman in that case Firefox is generally adequate for AT-SPI, though last experiments had some weakness around text selection and some parts of image support (though alt text worked fine). Not as good as eg Safari, but likely to be acceptable.

Of course the question will be whether AT-SPI support for the particular assistive device exists; that's something I didn't have to worry about (devices selected for purpose in my case), but your friend might


@felix @theonefreeman I've only ever used Gnome's Orca on KDE (Debian), and it worked decently enough but had some issues. But there's a fork of Manjaro called Sonar that's supposed to be good. Haven't looked into it.

This article has a section towards the end with some overviews of different distros with accessibility features.

@felix @theonefreeman Orca itself does support both text to speech and braille, and seems to be the main Linux screen reader afaik

@lesbianhacker @felix Orca looks like what he needs. I'll mention Sonar too. I don't think he's interested in switching distros right now, he's been using Debian for years, but it does look interesting.
It looks like Orca actually uses the libre library he wrote for interfacing with Braille.

@theonefreeman @felix the best DE to use Orca on is Gnome, from what I hear, which makes sense.

@theonefreeman I'm very interested in this exact question I'm already using Debian with a GUI, so I'd be interested in any replies!

@error_1202 He got some responses from a blind Linux users mailing list he's in, and they said that Mate and GNOME both work well with Orca. A few of them use Slint, which is a slackware based distro that is designed to work well with screenreaders.

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