Orca: an open source scriptable screen reader

Orca is an open source scriptable screen reader. The development of Orca has been led by the Accessibility Program Office of Sun Microsystems, Inc. with contributions from many community members. For more information and to download Orca, see https://wiki.gnome.org/action/show/Projects/Orca?action=show&redirect=Orca.

Using various combinations of speech, braille, and magnification, Orca is designed to work with applications and toolkits that support the assistive technology service provider interface (AT-SPI). This includes the GNOME desktop and its applications, OpenOffice, Firefox, and the Java platform. Some applications work better than others, however, and the Orca community continually works to provide compelling access to more and more applications.

On the Accessible Applications page at Orca Accessible Applications, you will find a growing list of information regarding various applications that can be accessed with Orca as well as tips and tricks for using them. The list is not to be a conclusive list of all applications. Rather, the goal is to provide a repository within which users can share experiences regarding applications they have tested.

Anyone with an interest in improving the GNOME Desktop Accessibility Guide (user section), please review the latest edits at https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/a11y.html and direct all corrections, suggestions, etc. to email hidden; JavaScript is required – your input is greatly appreciated!

Darragh Ó Héiligh is a senior system administrator at Dublin City University in the Information System and Services department. He is blind and uses several tools to make his job accessible. He writes a blog and prepares Tech Pages for more thorough details about using Linux, Orca, and other technology. For example, "Using the Tilda terminal in Linux with full accessibility for Orca users".

Reading for the Blind

  • DAISY Consortium The DAISY Consortium was founded in 1996 and consists of organizations around the world who are committed to developing the Digital Accessible Information SYstem (DAISY). DAISY is a digital standard for producing accessible and navigable multimedia documents. These documents are Digital Talking Books, digital text books, or a combination of synchronised audio and text books that permit everyone, but especially people who are blind, visually impaired, or have another print disability, to experience a better way to read.
  • How can I become a reader/narrator? Many network libraries and agencies use volunteer readers to record materials for local use. A directory of such agencies, Sources of Custom-Produced Books: Braille, Audio Recordings, and Large Print, is available on the NLS website. Production studios awarded NLS contracts recruit and hire professional narrators.
  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) from the Library of Congress. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail.
  • "Coming to terms with sight loss". Helping you live with sight loss. From the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) [United Kingdom]  Updated
  • What is Web-Braille? Web-Braille is a service that provides electronic files of braille books, magazines, and music materials to individuals registered with cooperating libraries. After registering with the library eligible braille readers may download the electronic files or use them online with braille output devices.