Emmabuntüs addressing accessibility for visually impaired

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The facts…

During the inauguration of the Kombonloiga high school computer room and the handover of a Braille typewriter, Justin Wennékouma TENGANDE, a teacher in charge of the visually impaired, urged us to equip our computers with suitable software so that the 18 blind students attending the high school could also handle the computer tools.

Brainstorming and drawing up a plan…

Considering that the ‘Togolese Federation of Disabled People’s Associations’ (FETAPH) was soon to receive 40 computers to equip their associations, and that this was an opportunity to further improve the distribution, Patrick, head of the Emmabuntüs collective, set to work, while in Togo Justin put us in touch with Jean-Pierre Tevi Akoeté LOGOVI, a teacher at the ‘Centre Polyvalent Saint Augustin’ for visually impaired people in the Kegué area, district of Lomé. Jean-Pierre, himself visually impaired, was curious about Emmabuntüs and volunteered to test the new accessibility features.

Emmabuntüs address the visually impaired challenge…

To add accessibility features to Emmabuntüs for the visually impaired, we are going to include in our Linux distribution two new featrures: the screen reader Orca associated with the Svox Pico voice synthesizer to help the blind, and the Compiz window manager with its accessibility module (full-screen zoom, screen brightness change, etc.) for the visually impaired.

To these software will be added: eBook-reader/Calibre for reading digital books in ePub format, Elograf for voice dictation, and the voice version of Tux Typing for the keyboard training, as well as NatBraille [Fr] software for generating books in Braille.

On Monday February 12, 2024, a resident of Agbodrafo handed Jean-Pierre (person on the left) the laptop in which he had previously downloaded and installed the appropriate software, to be tested for improvements.

Elias and Jean-Pierre

Emmabuntüs desktop screen

Specific accessibility scripts will be included in Emmabuntüs to help configure these programs, as well as numerous keyboard shortcuts for launching these programs and controlling audio peripherals.

A manual describing these developments in ePub format will also be included in Emmabuntüs, and will be accessible as soon as Emmabuntüs is launched in accessibility mode. It will be accessible in reading mode or audio mode from the accessibility configuration window:


Details of the Emmabuntüs Accessibility home screen.

Original article in French on the YovoTogo website