Ubuntu Accessibility Start Guide
Ubuntu 6.06 provides assistive technology support in the basic boot and install, with further packages available in the repositories. This guide does not provide a complete listing of all the available features, but is a practical guide to getting started with Ubuntu using it's default assistive technology features.
Booting the Live CD
The standard Ubuntu Live CD can accommodate users with a range of disabilities using different boot options. This section explains how to activate these features on the Live CD. Insert the Live CD and boot the machine to use Ubuntu Live. The CD will start with a boot screen giving various options for starting the system including choice of language, special hardware settings and accessibility settings. Pressing F5 produces a menu of accessibility options with the following choices:
- Lesser Visual Impairment
- Moderate Visual Impairment
- Minor Motor Difficulties
The options are accessed by using the arrow keys and pressing Enter. The default option is 'None'. So to access the 'Moderate Visual Impairment' option, press F5, the down arrow twice and Enter. Press Enter again to boot the CD with this option. The system will now require 2-3 minutes to start from the CD. The assistive technology option selected above will start with the system.
The Ubuntu CDs can be downloaded from a range of global mirrors, listed here. The Live version is called 'desktop', while the alternate install version is called 'alternate'. See this page for instructions on how to burn an ISO image to a CD. If you want to try the latest experimental version go here.
Installation can be performed with the basic installation CD, or more commonly, starting the Live CD and running the graphical install program. This second approach allows you to test that the software works well with your hardware before installing. In both cases, the assistive technology applications are installed by default, but only the live CD option has assistive technology support during the install process at the moment.
- Live CD boot menu: The Live CD boot menu has small print and no audio feedback.
- Magnifier: The magnifier fails to start automatically on the Live CD
- work-around: log out and wait to be logged back in.
- Installation: The Live CD installer does not provide speech output via Gnopernicus.
- Launch gnopernicus
- Enable assistive technology support
- Log out and in again
- Launch gnopernicus from terminal, otherwise gnome-panel crshes
- Get a root shell with sudo -s
- Launch gnopernicus from there to get access to the installer
- Speech: Firefox and OpenOffice do not generate proper speech output.
- On-screen Keyboard: is not available as a boot option on the 6.06 Live CD