Rationale

Tails should be usable by every target user, regardless of their abilities or inabilities. Only other key requirements of Tails design (such as Free Software and maintainability) shall limit this one.

Tails therefore needs to ship with accessibility technologies.

Enabling accessibility features

These accessibility tools could be enabled at boot time by people who need it, by passing access= option(s) to live-boot:

access=ACCESS
  Set the accessibility level for physically or visually
  impared users.
  ACCESS must be one of v1, v2, v3, m1, or m2. v1=lesser
  visual impairment, v2=moderate visual impairment,
  v3=blindness, m1=minor motor difficulties, m2=moderate motor
  difficulties.

We might want to use the syslinux boot menu to enable accessibility features.

However, live-boot 3.0~a27-1 removed this feature: "Removing outdated and broken accessibility script, this will be redone in live-config properly." This did not happen upstream.

Visual

Orca does not work with iceweasel yet. Also think of the Unsafe Browser.

Motor

live-boot's access=m1 and access=m2 options enable various GNOME options suitable for people having motor difficulties. This might be enough.

We also probably want to install the dasher graphical predictive text input system, that adds eyetracking into the mix. It brings 10MB .deb files in: ?install dasher.

Resources

Archive: discarded tools

Compiz

We have been told that Compiz is the preferred accessibility solution for some people with sight impairment; such features Compiz includes are:

  • inverting colors: good for the color blind or those who need better contrast
  • looking glass: (small area of screen enlarged) good for those who still like to see the whole desktop while working. This one provides some nice graphics too.
  • magnifier: like looking glass but without the other graphics
  • sharpen: makes the entire desktop look sharper for better readability
  • track mouse: (very helpful) it is very easy for a sight impaired person to loose their mouse. this feature helps prevent that. This is much clearer cut than the mouse tracking in gnome-mag.
  • zoom: magnify the entire desktop

On the other hand, Compiz has not been in Debian since Wheezy => discarded.