Thread: About Windows 11's high system requirements. You know, a lot of blind people, who don't have jobs, live on social security and disability money, and who definitely don't have the newest computers, won't get Windows 11. This could have been a great chance for Linux to step up and say loud and proud "Because we support every person's ability to choose their system, and use and learn about computers, we will never force upon users what system they must run. And because we stand proudly with people with disabilities, all blind people are welcome in the world of free and open source software, where they can learn and create just like everyone else."

But no. Gnome, one of the most popular desktops on Linux, is trash with accessibility. KDE is working on it, but that'll take years. Who's ever heard of Mate? And who makes current software for the command line, for users and not other developers?

Also, it's not enough that Gnome is trash, or KDE is slowly trying, or the command line is mainly for developers. When a user installs Linux and needs assistive technology, like Orca, they can't just enable it and go on their way. They have to check a box in settings to "enable" assistive technologies. That's a huge barrier, and shouldn't exist. But it does. Another roadblock. Why do these exist in a supposed welcoming community? Why do these exist if Linux is open to all? Why? If FOSS is communal, why are blind people, due to the huge barrier of entry, shut out of the FOSS OS? These are hard questions we should be working through. Why does the GUI require assistive technology support to be enabled in order for Orca to work with many apps? Why can't it be enabled by default? Does it slow stuff down? If so, why? And should we have to live with a slower OS because we're blind?

@devinprater I mean it’d help if there were an organized company that made the entire stack and made sure it worked consistently and was supported with funding by the users and/or other funding sources sufficiently to actually produce the things you’re asking for.

@brion I mean, I'd donate like $20 or $30 per month for that.

@devinprater unfortunately it has to be not just you but a bunch of other people. And then there needs to be someone you can give it to in an organized way that makes sure effort is spent on consistent interoperable software that serves all users. There is no central place to send it, there is no coordination, and there is no project management.

@devinprater you can't demand that "Linux" do it because "Linux" is not a cohesive group with any organized management or funding or method of coordinating effort

@brion @devinprater Though GNOME & KDE covers most of the relevant stack components!

Then there's all the apps...

@alcinnz @brion @devinprater Well almost all the non-game graphical applications are either GTK or Qt these days, it's getting really rare to see something like raw X/wayland or FLTK.

(I'm excluding games because it's an entirely different kind of process to render them accessible and games are quite done by different kind of people)

And if you want an common umbrella for ~desktop accessibility, I think XDG aka would be it but well Linux as a gloss term is fine.

@lanodan @devinprater @brion And I would count any apps using raw X, Wayland, or FLTK as a lost cause. Which is not to denigrate X or Wayland, they're important stack components!

Just saying if you're drawing the UI yourself you're probably not exporting anything for Orca to read! And probably are getting so much more wrong too!


@lanodan @devinprater @brion I was just listening to Cassidy repeating "Don't do more than you have to" (above GTK) for the sake of accessibility.

The previous speaker had a great accessible (low vision) experience on elementary OS compared to other free desktops he used in the past. Still had gripes to share.

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