"Accessibility in Fedora Workstation" (fwd)

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Tue Aug 16 19:12:03 UTC 2022

I'm on my third stint as an NFB member, and am quite intrigued. Who were 
the people involved?  Also, for the record, who's writing the message below?

I wasn't in NFB at the time of whatever happened.  I'd heard that it was 
kind of a deal between Freedom Scientific (or whatever it was then) and 
Microsoft, but I had no specifics.


On 8/16/22 14:26, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Actually, I'd like to know where you got the idea that it's just a 
> rumor. It is not. I was personally involved at the time, arguing 
> strenuously against the policy. I can give you names of people at the 
> NFB who backed the policy if you'd like.
> The NFB's reasoning was that a free screen reader would not be as good 
> as one you had to pay for. They reasoned that Microsoft had little 
> motivation to keep on improving their screen reader but it might be 
> enough to drive Freedom Scientific out of business. As a Linux user, I 
> felt that reasoning was flawed mainly because I felt free, open 
> source  screen readers were right around the corner anyway. I believe 
> I was using Speakup and something called Nupernicus on Linux at the time.
> This is absolutely not a rumor.
> On 8/16/22 12:31, K0LNY_Glenn wrote:
>> That is hear-say, an old rumor that has been recycled countless times.
>> Glenn
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at wisc.edu>
>> To: "K0LNY_Glenn" <glenn at ervin.email>; "Butch Bussen"
>> <butchb at shellworld.net>; "Karen Lewellen" <klewellen at shellworld.net>
>> Cc: <speakup at linux-speakup.org>; "Milan Zamazal" <pdm at zamazal.org>;
>> <Blinux-list at redhat.com>
>> Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2022 11:49 AM
>> Subject: Re: "Accessibility in Fedora Workstation" (fwd)
>> Holy cow! Are you aware that the NFB once asked Microsoft to *NOT*
>> improve Narrator to the point where it would compete with Jaws? If you
>> think the NFB is incapable of forcing choices on people, you are very
>> sadly mistaken.
>> On 8/16/22 09:36, K0LNY_Glenn wrote:
>>> This sort of thing would never happen in Nebraska, or any state 
>>> where the
>>> agency staff is of the NFB philosophy.
>>> Say what you want about the NFB, no organization is without its 
>>> problems,
>>> but it is the core philosophy that formed the NFB that knows that 
>>> society
>>> has low expectations of the Blind, and this is why the NFB believes in
>>> skills and high expectations.
>>> And with that, comes giving respect to the Blind, like the respect of
>>> choice.
>>> Yeah I know about the information of recent about NFB abuse, but 
>>> this is
>>> organizational issues, unrelated to the philosophy.  In fact, the fact
>>> that
>>> it has come up demonstrates that the NFB is no different than any other
>>> organization in interpersonal staff issues.
>>> And choice does not mean training center choices.
>>> Choice isn't always an option, just like if you took a vocational 
>>> course
>>> in
>>> college, there are things you have to take, so to me, the lack of 
>>> choice
>>> in
>>> this regard is different than computer software, where all the choices
>>> will
>>> reach the same end result.
>>> In states where the NFB philosophy is embraced, if a client said I 
>>> want to
>>> use a Mac, or I want Window Eyes, then that is what they would get, no
>>> questions asked.
>>> They would not have to fight to get it.
>>> I simply cannot imagine a counselor saying that someone has to use the
>>> software that the counselor wants them to have.
>>> When I hear that stuff, I almost cannot believe it, but I know Butch 
>>> well
>>> enough to know he wouldn't make that up.
>>> Glenn
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Butch Bussen" <butchb at shellworld.net>
>>> To: "Karen Lewellen" <klewellen at shellworld.net>
>>> Cc: "K0LNY_Glenn" <glenn at ervin.email>; <speakup at linux-speakup.org>; 
>>> "Milan
>>> Zamazal" <pdm at zamazal.org>; <Blinux-list at redhat.com>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2022 8:18 AM
>>> Subject: Re: "Accessibility in Fedora Workstation" (fwd)
>>> You are right.  In Nevada, freedom pushed jaws to the rehab people and
>>> took them out for steak diners and so forth.  I fought like hell to get
>>> them to buy window-eyes.
>>> 73
>>> Butch
>>> WA0VJR
>>> Node 3148
>>> Wallace, ks.
>>> On Sun, 14 Aug 2022, Karen Lewellen wrote:
>>>> And where do these employers learn about jaws?
>>>> In fact, provide if you do not mind an example of how  this works
>>>> exactly.
>>>> after all, unless I am incorrect, these employers are not personal 
>>>> Jaws
>>>> users, meaning someone they trust continues to sell them on an 
>>>> expensive
>>>> program instead of a largely free one.
>>>> On Sat, 13 Aug 2022, K0LNY_Glenn wrote:
>>>>>    Karen,
>>>>>    Most employers don't want NVDA, and will only allow Jaws.
>>>>>    In Nebraska, if an employer said put on whatever works, the 
>>>>> counselors
>>>>>    will
>>>>>    use NVDA, because of the cost of Jaws.
>>>>>    If some of the clients in a call center already use Jaws, but 
>>>>> don't
>>>>> know
>>>>>    NVDA, the counselor will use Jaws, because the other clients 
>>>>> will need
>>>>> to
>>>>>    learn one of the two.
>>>>>    So it's all choice, but in the workplace, it depends on what the
>>>>> employer
>>>>>    will allow.
>>>>>    Also, sometimes scripts need to be made, and there are more Jaws
>>>>> scripters
>>>>>    available than there are NVDA add-on writers.
>>>>>    So this perception that Jaws is forced by rehab, from my 31 
>>>>> years in
>>>>> the
>>>>>    business I can say is rubbish.
>>>>>    Now, if a counselor did not know how to use NVDA, and either 
>>>>> may be
>>>>>    chosen,
>>>>>    the rehab counselor is able to select the one that the 
>>>>> counselor feels
>>>>> is
>>>>>    best for the student and for the counselor's teaching.
>>>>>    When it comes to part B moneys, which is used for non-vocational
>>>>>    purchases,
>>>>>    where a lot of Jaws purchases come from, it is in the agency's 
>>>>> best
>>>>>    interest
>>>>>    to spend as little as possible, because that doesn't come back 
>>>>> like VR
>>>>>    expenditures do.
>>>>>    Glenn
>>>>>    ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>    From: "Karen Lewellen" <klewellen at shellworld.net>
>>>>>    To: "K0LNY_Glenn" <glenn at ervin.email>
>>>>>    Cc: <speakup at linux-speakup.org>; "Milan Zamazal" 
>>>>> <pdm at zamazal.org>;
>>>>>    <Blinux-list at redhat.com>
>>>>>    Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2022 6:15 PM
>>>>>    Subject: Re: "Accessibility in Fedora Workstation" (fwd)
>>>>>    The challenge with that example is that, as one often gets 
>>>>> reminded,
>>>>> the
>>>>>    rehab systems track record for facilitating  employment for their
>>>>> clients
>>>>>    is quite poor.
>>>>>    With a high percentage of unemployment among our clients.  Making,
>>>>>    speaking personally, your buying Jaws for personal use not really
>>>>>    reflecting how the system would respond to an alternative request.
>>>>>    Now if someone from organized rehab said, okay freedom 
>>>>> scientific, we
>>>>> are
>>>>>    creating an employment program where our clients will train in 
>>>>> Linux,
>>>>>    needing a solid screen reader solution for the system. We will 
>>>>> give
>>>>> you
>>>>>    an
>>>>>    exclusive development contract for s millions to create the tool.
>>>>>    Fs would likely say where do we sign?
>>>>>    On Sat, 13 Aug 2022, K0LNY_Glenn wrote:
>>>>>>    True enough, but largely, rehab people typically use Windows 
>>>>>> at work,
>>>>>>    and
>>>>>>    probably at home, but they need to cater to the needs of the 
>>>>>> client.
>>>>>>    If a client used Linux, I doubt that any rehab counselor would
>>>>>> advocate
>>>>>>    that
>>>>>>    the client switch to Windows, unless that was needed for a 
>>>>>> specific
>>>>>> job.
>>>>>>    In Nebraska, we purchased Jaws much more for personal use than 
>>>>>> we did
>>>>>>    for
>>>>>>    work related situations.
>>>>>>    So if FS made a JFL, and people were using Linux, rehab would 
>>>>>> indeed
>>>>>>    purchase a JFL product.
>>>>>>    Glenn
>>>>>>    ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>>    From: "Karen Lewellen" <klewellen at shellworld.net>
>>>>>>    To: "K0LNY_Glenn" <glenn at ervin.email>
>>>>>>    Cc: <speakup at linux-speakup.org>; "Milan Zamazal" 
>>>>>> <pdm at zamazal.org>;
>>>>>>    <Blinux-list at redhat.com>
>>>>>>    Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2022 3:01 PM
>>>>>>    Subject: Re: "Accessibility in Fedora Workstation" (fwd)
>>>>>>    there was an interesting discussion a month or so back on the 
>>>>>> blinux
>>>>>>    list
>>>>>>    about how long it took completing tasks in the gui as apposed 
>>>>>> to say
>>>>>>    command line,  the comments were quite informative.
>>>>>>    Still, fs has never marketed largely to the end user. Instead 
>>>>>> they
>>>>>>    market
>>>>>>    to the American rehab community.
>>>>>>    how much market research has  the rehab community done to 
>>>>>> support the
>>>>>>    need
>>>>>>    for choices?
>>>>>>    How many rehab counselors support  training in Linux?
>>>>>>    one comment made by the subject of this thread about poor quality
>>>>>> speech
>>>>>>    is a fine one...out of the box Linux has few speech choices.
>>>>>> everyone
>>>>>>    brings their needs to the table there.
>>>>>>    if you want to get fs to care about Linux, you  need to prove 
>>>>>> there
>>>>>> is
>>>>>>    money for  them there, from their main source of income.
>>>>>>    On Sat, 13 Aug 2022, K0LNY_Glenn wrote:
>>>>>>>    Well since Orca seems to work on so many distros, I don't 
>>>>>>> know why
>>>>>>> FS
>>>>>>>    would
>>>>>>>    not be able to do the same.
>>>>>>>    If Jaws users could switch into Linux, it would be a real game
>>>>>>>    changer,
>>>>>>>    and
>>>>>>>    I think with lots more Blind Linux users, we would start seeing
>>>>>>>    accessibility in Linux not being a second thought.
>>>>>>>    Glenn
>>>>>>>    ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>>>    From: "Karen Lewellen" <klewellen at shellworld.net>
>>>>>>>    To: "K0LNY_Glenn" <glenn at ervin.email>
>>>>>>>    Cc: <speakup at linux-speakup.org>; "Milan Zamazal" 
>>>>>>> <pdm at zamazal.org>;
>>>>>>>    <Blinux-list at redhat.com>
>>>>>>>    Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2022 1:47 PM
>>>>>>>    Subject: Re: "Accessibility in Fedora Workstation" (fwd)
>>>>>>>    Well technically freedom scientific does not exist any 
>>>>>>> longer, being
>>>>>>>    bought
>>>>>>>    by another company.
>>>>>>>    Still, I can respect why they, or nvda have not created their 
>>>>>>> tools
>>>>>>>    for
>>>>>>>    Linux.
>>>>>>>    That is because as I understand it, Linux is  quite like 
>>>>>>> clay. You
>>>>>>> can
>>>>>>>    mold a distribution into almost anything. there are various
>>>>>>>    personifications of the system, all sorts of ways and changes 
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>    options
>>>>>>>    for creativity.
>>>>>>>    however adaptive tools are often extensions of physical
>>>>>>>    characteristics,
>>>>>>>    hands, eyes, ears, brains, combinations of these.
>>>>>>>    To build solid assistive tools one must have a solid  
>>>>>>> foundation as
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>>    were.  that is part of why there have needed to be so few Apple
>>>>>>>    efforts
>>>>>>>    at
>>>>>>>    inclusion, they  created  with, and then created in-house 
>>>>>>> adaptive
>>>>>>>    tools
>>>>>>>    for various  populations that were built into the system.
>>>>>>>    Although Microsoft did not bother until much later, in theory at
>>>>>>>    least,
>>>>>>>    the
>>>>>>>    consistency of windows is what makes it possible for freedom 
>>>>>>> or the
>>>>>>>    former
>>>>>>>    gw  micro or nvda to create something that can in theory  work.
>>>>>>>    Floor for the furniture is somewhat solid.
>>>>>>>    Just my thoughts,
>>>>>>>    On Sat, 13 Aug 2022, K0LNY_Glenn wrote:
>>>>>>>>    I would like to see Freedom Scientific make a Jaws For Linux.
>>>>>>>>    JFL
>>>>>>>>    I'd certainly pay the yearly rental fee for it, and it would 
>>>>>>>> bring
>>>>>>>>    many
>>>>>>>>    more
>>>>>>>>    users into Linux.
>>>>>>>>    FS could, with its resources, possibly make it more robust than
>>>>>>>>    Orca.
>>>>>>>>    Glenn
>>>>>>>>    ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>>>>    From: "Milan Zamazal" <pdm at zamazal.org>
>>>>>>>>    To: <speakup at linux-speakup.org>
>>>>>>>>    Cc: <Blinux-list at redhat.com>
>>>>>>>>    Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2022 12:08 PM
>>>>>>>>    Subject: Re: "Accessibility in Fedora Workstation" (fwd)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>    "KL" == Karen Lewellen <klewellen at shellworld.net>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> writes:
>>>>>>>> KL>  What bothers me most are his lack of actual qualifications,
>>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>> KL>  absolute dismissal of what he has not experienced..as if he
>>>>>>>> KL>  defines Linux usage for everyone.  That attitude is 
>>>>>>>> dangerous,
>>>>>>>> KL>  because he is educating those outside of the accessibility
>>>>>>>> KL>  experiences, who will believe his ignorance is factual.  he
>>>>>>>> has
>>>>>>>> KL>  to be expert, it is his job.
>>>>>>>>    Hi Karen,
>>>>>>>>    I know Lukas personally and I admire his skills and
>>>>>>>> qualifications.
>>>>>>>>    I
>>>>>>>>    also know first hand that he is open to constructive 
>>>>>>>> feedback and
>>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>>>    believe heâ?Td be happy to be corrected about possible 
>>>>>>>> technical
>>>>>>>>    inaccuracies in the interview.  It may be also a good 
>>>>>>>> opportunity
>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>    find out whatâ?Ts possibly missing in making anybody better
>>>>>>>>    informed.
>>>>>>>>    As for â?oabsolute dismissal of what he has not experiencedâ?,
>>>>>>>> what
>>>>>>>>    reasonable free software alternatives to a less or more 
>>>>>>>> standard
>>>>>>>>    desktop
>>>>>>>>    with Orca and a software synthesizer can you see for a common
>>>>>>>> blind
>>>>>>>>    user
>>>>>>>>    who needs to use a fully working web browser, to read and 
>>>>>>>> process
>>>>>>>>    text
>>>>>>>>    documents, to be compatible with other computer users, etc.?
>>>>>>>>    And letâ?Ts be realistic.  We celebrate every single developer
>>>>>>>> hired
>>>>>>>>    to
>>>>>>>>    improve accessibility.  This tells something about the state of
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>    matters.  We cannot expect that a single person will fix all 
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>    kinds
>>>>>>>>    of accessibility problems in all the environments.  Lukas 
>>>>>>>> works at
>>>>>>>>    his
>>>>>>>>    job focusing on certain areas currently seen there as urgent 
>>>>>>>> ones
>>>>>>>>    and I
>>>>>>>>    appreciate this opportunity.  Anybody else seeing a need to 
>>>>>>>> work
>>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>>    other areas is welcome to contribute to whatever sees fit, as I
>>>>>>>> do.
>>>>>>>>    Regards,
>>>>>>>>    Milan
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