Tails and the GNOME desktop include assistive technologies to support users with various impairments and special needs, and to interact with common assistive devices.

Universal access menu

You can activate most of these technologies from the universal access menu (the Universal Access icon which looks like a person) in the top bar:

Universal Access menu with the following options (disabled
by default): High Contrast, Zoom, Large Text, Screen Reader, Screen Keyboard,
Visual Alters, Sticky Keys, Slow Keys, Bounce Keys, and Mouse Keys

These technologies are documented in more details in the GNOME universal access documentation.

Keyboard shortcuts

Turn screen reader on or offAlt+Super+S
Turn zoom on or offAlt+Super+8

To access the universal access menu using the keyboard:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Tab to move the keyboard focus to the top bar.

  2. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select the universal access menu.

  3. Press Enter to open the menu.

  4. Use the up and down arrow keys to select items in the menu.

  5. Press Space to toggle the selected item.

  6. Press Esc to close the menu.

Screen reader

To hear screen elements spoken to you, you can activate the Screen Reader accessibility feature.

For more detailed documentation refer to the official Orca Screen Reader documentation.

The screen reader takes around 10 seconds to start.

The screen reader does not work with the Unsafe Browser.

Screen keyboard

If you prefer a pointing device over the keyboard, you can activate the Screen Keyboard accessibility feature.

For more detailed documentation refer to the official GNOME Screen Keyboard documentation.

Dasher graphical text entry application

If you are operating a computer one-handed (by joystick, touchscreen, or mouse) or zero-handed (by head-mouse or eyetracker), you can use the Dasher graphical predictive text entry application.

Dasher is available from Applications ▸ Universal Access ▸ Dasher.