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".

Turn Firefox into a screen reader with Fire Vox

Turn Firefox into a screen reader with Fire Vox, suggests Roger Johansson of 456 Berea St. He talks about his experience with Fire Vox, the free open-source screen reader extension for Firefox. He has successfully used it on his Mac (after a few unsuccessful attempts), but Fire Vox can also run on Windows and Linux.

The free price tag removes any excuse a developer or writer might have for not testing their web-based material with a screen reader.

Have you tried this screen reader extension? What other screen readers do you know and love (or loath)? Share your experiences in the comments.

(PS This entry was made with the WordPress "Press This" feature.)