Advice for blind linux newbie

Vasile Radu vradu at
Thu Jul 6 14:37:33 UTC 2006

under windows
I might not be any problem only with jaws I think.
I am using jaws under windows and it is verry simple.
I have a sugestion:
when your friend got lost in too much details
tell him to use windows key + m
to minimize all aplications and to get on desktop
which is a know place.
After that he can navigate with alt+tab amoung open aplication and stop on 
this he want to work with.
the moust strange aplication is a webbrowser
because in this kind of aplications
navigation for a blind behaves differently.
In this kind of aplications
jaws has a so named virtual cursor
which is not the pc cursor.
In this state (virtual cursor)
jaws use most of the keys of the keybord for navigation not for editing
for example
with h key he can navigate amoung all headings on the page.
With f key he can navigate amoung all forms elements on the page
For editing such a form element he must put the virtual cursor on this form 
element press enter
and he will hear
form mode on
in this state he can edit evry form element present on the page.
There are more to say on this subject if you want more details contact me at
rvasile at
on yahoo
matematicianu2003 at
also on yahoo messenger at matematicianu2003
or on skype at raven2004742
I would like to help him.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Simon Greaves" <simongreaves43 at>
To: <blinux-list at>
Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 12:59 PM
Subject: Advice for blind linux newbie

> Hi, I have just subscribed.  Hello to everyone.  I was hoping for some 
> advice.  My friend is visually impaired and has been struggling with 
> windows for the last year.  The GUI is what is causing him the most 
> problems.  As he has never been able to see well enough to grasp concepts 
> such as tabs, menus and the desktop, he often gets lost and doesn't know 
> where he is.  His learning has come to a halt and he is getting 
> frustrated, so I have come here.  I have wanted to try Linux myself and 
> thought I could learn a little along the way by setting it up for him.
> On windows he uses Zoomtext (screen magnifier) and Jaws (screen reader). 
> I think this causes him more problems as he won't rely on either 
> completely.  So I am looking for a simple setup that allows him to play 
> music, read emails and browse the web.  Can anyone recommend which Linux 
> distros I could use and what I should install for accessibility with your 
> reasons please?  This would be a great help.
> Thank you
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