Day 78: Learning about Orca

Orca is an open source screen reader for Linux. This is my first time to read about it. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to actually experiment using it. However, I’ll need to set up a Linux distribution that works with it first.

Things I accomplished

  • Attempted to install Orca on my netbook (Lubuntu), and then on my Raspberry Pi (Raspbian). Both failed attempts (today, anyway).
  • Read through a lot of Orca documentation.
  • Added keystrokes to my screen reader cheatsheet, and copied the spreadsheet over to my WAS cheatsheets on Google Sheets.

What I learned today

  • Orca can provide speech or braille output.
  • Orca is provided as a default screen reader for several Linux distributions, including Solaris, Fedora, and Ubuntu.
  • Orca provides a really cool feature called Where Am I that allows additional commands to inform the user about page title, link information (location, size), table details, and widget role and name.
  • Many of the navigation keystrokes are similar to other desktop screen reader commands.
  • Orca also has commands specific to dealing with Live Regions on webpages.
  • When the “Super” key is referenced, it’s talking about the Windows logo key.
  • Orca provides Gecko-specific navigation preferences. I wonder if it works best with Firefox?

Not only did I learn about Orca, but I also got sucked down the Linux rabbit hole in order to better grasp that OS, its distributions and desktop environments, and additional “universal access” for people with disabilities. However, that topic could take another week to work through.