- Making the EeePC accessible
An interesting hardware
The Eee PC has been is described as poorly equipped by some reviewers (small screen, missing keyboard layout localizations, etc.). These disadvantaged do not matter for blind people. Some of them become advantages.
- this computer is easily wearable in a large pocket.
- it comes with correct integrated loudspeakers.
- the screen is small, which minimizes its hindrance for blind people.
- the visible keyboard layout does not matter.
Poorly accessible software
When you take an Eee PC with its default software, it makes no one sound, not even the smallest beep upon booting. There are quite no means for a blind user to know whether the computer is on or off. Of course this may be a feature easy to change. But the same is true for every program installed in the default setup.
Instead of reusing the Xandros setup, we shall test a pure Debian setup and make it as accessible as we can.
GNOME is the best accessible graphical environment currently under Linux. It works perfectly fine with the EeePC. Simply install gnome-orca and configure it to your needs (speech synthesis backend and so on). For usable webbrowsing, you will need to install Firefox 3 (Minefield). The stock iceweasel (firefox 2) in Debian is not accessible enough to be of real use.