106.3. Accessibility

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Description: Demonstrate knowledge and awareness of accessibility technologies.
Key Knowledge Areas:
  • Basic knowledge of keyboard accessibility settings (AccessX)
  • Basic knowledge of visual settings and themes
  • Basic knowledge of assistive technology (ATs)
Terms and Utilities:
  • Sticky/Repeat Keys
  • Slow/Bounce/Toggle Keys
  • Mouse Keys
  • High Contrast/Large Print Desktop Themes
  • Screen Reader
  • Braille Display
  • Screen Magnifier
  • On-Screen Keyboard
  • Gestures (used at login, for example GDM)
  • Orca
  • GOK
  • emacspeak
There are some people with disabilities . A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or interact with the world around them. People with disabilities might like to work with Linux too . The good news is that Linux distributions provide great advantages over proprietary alternatives for people with disabilities!

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility , means making software usable by disabled people. That includes blind people of course, but also people who have low vision, are deaf, colorblind, have only one hand, can move only a few fingers, or even only the eyes.
These options are available in display managers (login screen) and in major desktops (like gnome, kde, xfce, ...). Its logo is a human stretching its hands a legs.
In Gnome the config is located at Settings ~ Universal Access.
Linux provides accessibility in 3 sections:
  1. 1.
    AccessX : AccessX or the Keyboard Accessibility preference tool allows you to set some options for people who have difficulty with keyboard .
  2. 2.
    Visual Settings : Visual Settings help people with vision problems:
  3. 3.
    Assistive Technologies : things like text-to-speech (tts)


  • Sticky keys: Helps users who have trouble pressing multiple keys at once, and users who have use of only one hand
  • Slow keys allows the user to specify the duration for which one must press-and-hold a key before the system accepts the keypress.
  • BounceKeys: Requires a delay between keystrokes before accepting the next keypress .
  • MouseKeys: Enables a group of keys to emulate a mouse. Pressing keys in this group will move a pointer around the screen and perform mouse button actions.
  • RepeatKeys: Enables the user who has trouble releasing keys quickly once they press to slow down how fast keys start repeating once they're pressed.
  • Hover Click: Enable click or drag simply by hovering mouse pointer over a control or object on the screen.

Visual Settings

  • High-contrast : Helps users who have trouble seeing text unless contrast is corrected, such as white text on a black background, or vice versa.
  • zoom (Magnifier) : Helps users with visual impairments who need larger text and images.
  • Large Text: Make reading text easier by using larger fonts in menus.
  • On screen keyboard: Helps users who cannot type at all, but who can use a mouse.
GOK is the Gnome On-Screen Keyboard. As the title implies, it is a keyboard that appears on the display as an alternative for those who are not able to use a regular keyboard.
  • Visual alerts: Replace system sounds with visual cues(like flashing th e screen)
  • Screen reader: A text-to-speech system to read what's on the screen

Text to speech

There are some Text to speech software in Linux which read dialog boxes for us . Software like orca and emac speak .