WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: is there a modern Linux screen reader?


From: Matt Arnold
Date: Apr 30, 2015 6:04PM

I find that Orca tends to be pretty sucky on most alternative desktops
MATE/XFCE/LXDE, but then again I haven't checked much since I wrote a
minimalist replacement
On 04/30/2015 02:40 AM, _mallory wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 02:07:40PM -0400, Mike Warner wrote:
>> Hello,
>> half of my dev team uses Linux, and I'm making them get more active in
>> testing for accessibility. They do keep accessibility in mind when coding,
>> but they don't have the means to test with a screen reader. Can anyone
>> recommend a good one that runs on Linux? I've seen references to Orca, but
>> it's no longer maintained and the last release was some time ago.
> Orca is maintained, and has a lively group of users who also give
> feedback and help with testing via the Orca mailing list.
> You can always get the latest Orca master at github, but be sure
> you have the latest Gnome when you do that. I'm running Trusty and
> I'm already a bit behind latest.
> Documentation does lag though, you really want to go through
> the mailing list archives to figure out where to get started as
> Orca's old way of starting up with a dialog has changed.
> Keep in mind that Orca is very very very dependent on how Gnome
> works and Gnome accessibility. Same goes for Gecko-based
> applications (FF, Thunderbird). Webkit-based apps work now as well.
> You really want to run Orca no older than 3.4.2 and that
> is not the latest-- before the Gnome 3 versions Orca was at times
> almost unusable.
> Anything running GTK should work fine, stuff running Qt4 will suck
> and Qt5 promised some a11y stuff but nobody's seen working stuff
> yet.
> MATE is another windowing env that supports Orca, people say it has
> good accessibility. Vinux is an Ubuntu-based Linux which, on the plus,
> will install and come up talking and have everything "on", but on the
> bad side, tends to be behind current Ubuntu releases. Sonar (I'm not
> really sure what that's based on) might be even better for your testers
> as it comes with, in addition to Orca, a screen magnifier (very
> important to test) and it has something that, if the computer has a
> webcam, is supposed to allow people to move the mouse cursor with
> their head movements, which sounds cool but I have no idea how well
> it works.
> _mallory
> > > > >