GNOME offers a number of applications to support users with disabilities. These applications include an on-screen keyboard (GOK), a powerful screenreader (Gnopernicus) with magnification, speech and braille support, and a text entry interface (Dasher). Activate the support for any assistive technology via the the GNOME control center that can be accessed by selecting+ .
Gnome On Screen Keyboard (GOK) provides a virtual keyboard on screen to those users who cannot use standard mouse and keyboard devices to control their computers. With appropriate hardware support, you can use a joystick or any pointer device as the input device.
The following example of using a text editor via GOK should illustrate the way how GOK works.
Procedure 3.2. Editing a Text File via GOK
Click Figure 3.6, “GOK in Use”in the main menu. See
Selectto launch a GNOME text editor and click to return to the main menu.
Hitto launch the actual on-screen keyboard and start entering your text. If in need of advanced editing funtionality like selecting, copying, pasting, or skipping characters, words, sentences, or lines, hit . To return to the keyboard window, hit .
To save the text you have written, clickto return to the main window then select to launch a window containing buttons to open any menu from the text editor's menu bar.
Select+ to open the file dialog of the text editor.
Hitto enter the filename via the virtual keyboard and hit on the virtual keyboard.
To terminate the text editor, return to the main menu and select+ + .
To configure the behavior of GOK, click+ in the main window and adjust the , , , , and settings.
More information about GOK can be obtained at http://www.gok.ca/, where you also find a comprehensive online help for this tool.
Gnopernicus is a powerful tool collection with various types of screen reading applications for blind and visually impaired users. It provides the following functionalities:
A speech synthesizer software is used to translate the actions on screen to spoken words. If your computer has a sound card, you can configure Gnopernicus to comment anything that happens on-screen.
If a braille device is connected to your system, Gnopernicus can translate the screen directly to this device. If you activatedas well, get an on-screen display of the braille output. This option might prove useful for demonstration purposes.
This module assists visually impaired users by magnifying the screen using a customizable zoom factor.
Once Gnopernicus has been started, its main menu appears in the top left corner of the screen, as shown in Figure 3.7, “Configuring Gnopernicus”. Determine which functionalities should be provided when your desktop starts by opening the dialog. Each active module can be configured via the dialog.
Get more information about the Gnopernicus project at http://www.baum.ro/gnopernicus.html.
Dasher is a small application enabling you to create texts without using a keyboard. You can use it on any computer device that comes without a keyboard (handheld or wearable computers) or on a normal computer that is controlled with a joystick, touchpad, head mouse, or eyetracker instead of keyboard and mouse.
Dasher is driven by continuous pointer gestures. Start with one character then drag the pointer to the next one until your text input is finished. Dasher supports various languages out of the box (English and European languages, Japanese, and some African languages) and can easily be trained to support other languages. Find more information about the Dasher project at http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/.