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
@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
@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.
@theonefreeman Thank you for letting me know!
@theonefreeman Idk if I already replied, but MATE or GNOME is good
@jookia I've been helping him more with that recently. We tried GNOME first, but he had issues with Orca getting stuck sometimes, so we switched to MATE, which has been working a lot better. He has been having issues with the MATE help app though, it won't let him read anything, and just tells him that there is a cursor. I tried looking through the documentation, but I'm not sure what he needs to do to switch modes and read it.
Most other apps seem to work well. He has been getting used to some of the differences between Orca and NVDA.
@theonefreeman Yeah the MATE help apps seems broken with screen readers :(
@jookia That's annoying, you'd think that accessibility would be most important for a help program. I think the gnome help app had the same issue. I directed him to the wiki pages online, and those work, he just prefers having a local copy of documentation for programs he uses.
@theonefreeman 'you would think' is probably the most used phrase in accessibility and software in general
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