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#1 2012-01-09 21:29:35

mike4ca
Happy (Arch|Manjaro)[B,b]ang User
From: Iowa, USA
Registered: 2011-10-17
Posts: 435

Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

Some of you may have noticed a discussion I have been having with a fellow ArchBanger on making to forums easier to read.  This actually brings up a bigger issue that is normally overlooked.  Making the desktop (desktop used here to include everything we see) more conducive for those with vision problems.  I have heard pleads on podcasts and have seen comments about installers, etc.  I am not saying we should redo ArchBang, but I thought it would be nice if we put together our collective mind and came up with some guidelines for others to customize their desktop.  I will take what is provided here and put it into a wiki article.

Some of the things that I think are needed include how to adjust fonts.  Typical fonts and colors to improve readability.  Tools for magnifying the desktop like Orca and kmag (including how to set them up, etc).  And anything else you can think of that would be useful.  If there is one place that something can be changed that overrides everything else, that would be great.

Also, if you have a vision problem and want to provide feedback, I would appreciate it.


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#2 2012-01-09 21:50:44

mike4ca
Happy (Arch|Manjaro)[B,b]ang User
From: Iowa, USA
Registered: 2011-10-17
Posts: 435

Re: Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

I am grouping my own replies so that it is easier for others to comment on and for me to put into the final article.

To increase the default font and size for Chromium, click on the wrench icon to open up the Preferences.  Then select the Under the Hood category.  Under the Web Content heading you can adjust the font size and page zoom.  Clicking the Customize Fonts... button will bring up another window where you can change the font type to... (this is where I would like help to know what fonts are easiest to read)

To increase the default font and size for Firefox, go to the Tools menu and select Options.  On the Content tab there is a font section.  You can make the font bigger there.  There is also an Advanced button.  Within the Advanced window there are more options including one called minimum font size.


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#3 2012-01-10 04:05:38

pablokal
Administrator
From: Nijmegen, Holland
Registered: 2010-10-12
Posts: 3,634
Website

Re: Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

The whole topic of adaptive software and hardware is a very complicated one. I am quite informed about this subject because my daughter is severely disabled due to problems at birth.
She has among other problems also visual limitations, called cortical visual impairment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortical_visual_impairment
What is complicated that every disabled person has its own stronger and weaker points so it is difficult to make general suggestions.
But 95 out of 100 people will have the usual types of low vision.
There are great sites about this which provide specialized software, mostly very expensive and for Windows; in the field of adaptive software the Linux world is rather underdeveloped and there are many projects that are abandoned.

That said some suggestions that are so obvious and strangely enough often ignored.
First use a good quality large size monitor, minimum 24 inch.
Take care it is well calibrated.
Be conscious of the light conditions in which you are watching, never have much light coming from behind or next to/behind your screen.
Let the light come from behind you or from the side. Try to control the light not too much but also not too dark.

If you have problems with printed stuff, there are hardware magnifiers available, but image quality is often meagre.
If detail and precise magnification are needed (for instance for charts or detailed illustrations) use a good scanner and scan at least at  400 dots per inch.
You will be able to scan all the details.

Auditorial feedback on what you type can be useful: writetype.


When creating documents yourself and you need not so many formatting options as open office provides try  programs like focuswriter in which you can adapt how you see the field in which you type exactly.
Arial is mostly used for people with low vision as letter type but I like Avenir too.
Next to letter size you also can adapt the colour scheme (font and background colour) , letter distance , line distance.

In Europe where there is a good health system so you can get free support from specialists and tools that accommodate your limitations.


Getting your questions answered here at ArchBang Forums
Please! Always give hardware info, if there is a chance that 's relevant: #lspci -vnn
On Arch(bang) and Openbox: http://stillstup.blogspot.com/

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#4 2012-01-10 07:48:19

r00tH4cK3r
Member
From: Thibodaux, LA
Registered: 2011-12-26
Posts: 31
Website

Re: Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

That is one thing I do have covered, is the screen. My screen on both systems are high quality LCD Screens. With Archbang, there are a couple very minor things I would like to see:

1. A way to change the font color in the tint2 panel without altering the entire config file. By default the tint2 panel is black and semi-transparent, which is nice, but the text I had issue reading and could not increase the size either, so maybe that would be a good place to start.

2. I tried to bold the font, but it only worked for the Browser font, and the title font for the open windows on the desktop. So maybe if there is such a feature, clarification can be had.

While some of our visual impairments are worse then others, and came from different reasons, I do feel that this issue is an important one. I know that adaption for the visually struggling is a bit under developed, but if ArchBang and other Arch distros were the first to adopt such things, it would bring in a lot of users and positive attention.

Regardless of where this topic goes, I would like to extend my thanks to Mike, and others, who have been very understanding of visual impairments. This community continues to prove to be a very well structured, supporting, and very kind one. Thank you all.


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#5 2012-01-10 07:54:33

oliver
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-04
Posts: 2,209

Re: Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

r00tH4cK3r wrote:

1. A way to change the font color in the tint2 panel without altering the entire config file. By default the tint2 panel is black and semi-transparent, which is nice, but the text I had issue reading and could not increase the size either, so maybe that would be a good place to start.

Not sure about the font colour, but you can change the brightness in the tint2rc file.  I would recommend firing up tint2config because it lets you make immediate changes and see if they're beneficial or not

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#6 2012-01-10 08:17:26

r00tH4cK3r
Member
From: Thibodaux, LA
Registered: 2011-12-26
Posts: 31
Website

Re: Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

oliver wrote:
r00tH4cK3r wrote:

1. A way to change the font color in the tint2 panel without altering the entire config file. By default the tint2 panel is black and semi-transparent, which is nice, but the text I had issue reading and could not increase the size either, so maybe that would be a good place to start.

Not sure about the font colour, but you can change the brightness in the tint2rc file.  I would recommend firing up tint2config because it lets you make immediate changes and see if they're beneficial or not

Thank you for the information, I will check into it. The one thing I have done regarding the tint2 panel, is I changed the default config file to make the panel smaller, and completely transparent with a darker wallpaper so I can read the text better. I also configured conky with a brighter color so I could read it. In addition, I kept the default black background color of the terminal with white text so I can read it when updating, installing packages from repo or aur, and using irssi.


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#7 2012-01-10 12:38:38

mike4ca
Happy (Arch|Manjaro)[B,b]ang User
From: Iowa, USA
Registered: 2011-10-17
Posts: 435

Re: Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

Thanks to those that have replied and keep it coming!  I struggle with the topic title. As I think of it more I would like to cover a wider range of vision challenges.  There are some that struggle a little because they need bi-focal (or tri-) glasses and end up getting neck strain from tilting their head back.  And of course those with much larger vision issues as mentioned.  There is a lack of tools for them and I am not sure we can change that right here. 

But there are tricks and tools that are available now.  But how does one know about them?  This is where the wiki articles come in.  Hopefully we can add enough to it to give newer users (new to ArchBang or Arch) a guide on what is available.  Please submit more ideas and tips.

Thank you.


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#8 2012-01-10 14:04:08

pablokal
Administrator
From: Nijmegen, Holland
Registered: 2010-10-12
Posts: 3,634
Website

Re: Improving Desktop for Vision Impaired

In obconfig, tab appearance you can adapt  lettertype and bold etc, for active and inactive window title, menu headers and menu items, etc of all windows.

In lxappearance in the widget tab you can define the default user font for all kinds of menus.

You can make tint2 higher, bigger by changing the line in .tintrc
panel_size = 85% 44

Here the default is 28.

I would not use text in tint2 but just icons:
task_icon = 1
task_text = 0


Getting your questions answered here at ArchBang Forums
Please! Always give hardware info, if there is a chance that 's relevant: #lspci -vnn
On Arch(bang) and Openbox: http://stillstup.blogspot.com/

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