Ubuntu Accessibility Part 5: Why you should care about accessibility, and small things you can do to help

You may not know it now, but the accessibility of computer software may play a big role later on in your life. You may lose your sight for some reason, whether partially or totally, requiring you to have to read greatly enlarged print, or use synthesized speech, or even Braille. You may send yourself partially or totally deaf from listening to too much loud music, either at concerts, or using a portable music player. Regardless of what it may be, there is a chance that people will require some form of assistive technology later in their lives. You may even now, know someone who may be losing sight, can't use their limbs as well as they could, or they may not be able to hear nearly as well, or at all. Whats more, this person you know, may need to use a computer, and also may not be in the position to afford the proprietary assistive technologies that they may need.

If you know of anybody with a disability who is likely to need access to computer technology, consider investigating the available solutions that Ubuntu has available for this person, thereby saving investing in often expensive software and hardware, that may not fit their needs in the first place. If the person in question already has invested in proprietary technologies for use in Windows, or Mac OS X, consider talking to them about the available options both proprietary, and free, particularly if they are looking at upgrading, or moving on from what they currently use. If the open source solution doesn't fit their needs, you really should consider jumping in and helping in some way. In open source, helping yourself, or others, also helps potentially millions of other people.

Submitted by Johan van der Lingen (not verified) on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 21:16.

Do you happen to know if there is any speech recognition software for linux?
A friend of mine turned back from Kubuntu to Windows because no linux speech recognition seemed available. She uses Dragon Naturally Speeking, but this proprietary software is not available for linux.

As you say, not everyone might have the financial resources to purchase licenses for Windows+speech recognition+... I even think the chance is far greater that anyone with restrictions in sight, speech, limbs, etc. will not be able to afford many licenses, as many of them have a low level social security income.

Submitted by Malcolm Parsons (not verified) on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 23:13.

The word is "lose".

Submitted by TheMuso on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 07:24.

Thanks. I think it was a slight slip of the fingers. :)

Submitted by Malcolm Parsons (not verified) on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 23:48.

again here.

Submitted by TheMuso on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 00:07.

Well I certainly wasn't with it when I wrote this post. :p

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