Blind vs. mainstream distros

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Thu Apr 27 11:28:40 UTC 2017

Tony Baechler here.

I have two major problems with this argument, namely what Chris says in that 
Talking Arch should be a separate project. I feel strongly that speech and 
Braille should be part of all boot media for all mainstream distros unless 
it wouldn't be practical, such as for very small systems or due to space 
limitations on the boot media.

First, I guess it's just me, but pressing a key or two at the boot prompt 
really isn't a big deal. My boot loader lets me pick what OS I want to boot. 
I have to press a number for the partition I want. If you use GRUB and want 
to boot into recovery mode, you press the down arrow, whether you're blind 
or sighted. If you want to boot a custom Linux kernel command line, you type 
it in. Pressing the letter "s" and Enter to start speech in Debian and 
Slackware is hardly what I would call an inconvenience. Granted, I agree 
that I would rather not have to press aspecial keys, but if it keeps most 
people happy (the sighted don't want speech) and allows an accessible 
install, it's fine with me.

The second major problem I have is that unless I'm mistaken, it's still 
impossible for the blind to install Windows without help. Much of it can be 
automated and maybe Win10 has Narrator during the install, I'm not sure. The 
point is speech doesn't start automatically and there are far more keys to 
randomly press to get speech. In the past, I had someone install Windows for 
me before I could install a screen reader. One area where Linux shines is 
there are distros which only require a key or two at boot to have a fully 
talking installer which is identical to what the sighted use. Even the Mac 
can't do that, although one can start VoiceOver during the installation.

On 4/24/2017 8:21 AM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Kelly Prescott here.
> It takes a lot of effort to make a boot environment talk...  I know, because
> that is what I am working on.
> I am not speaking of Linux, I am speaking of a boot loader.
> When I finish my boot loader, then it might be realistic to have a normal
> arch cd with some boot options.
> Until that happens, I agree with Chris.  I don't like to boot and guess what
> to type and when.

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