So with all those degoogled Android phones, do we know if all the accessibility stuff also still works? Don't things like Talkback require you to have Google Play services?


It's the same with Linux phones. I'd love to have one, I'd love to use an open system, but the accessibility options that I'd need aren't there and somehow I don't think they will be anytime soon, especially with touch support... :( please someone correct me, I'd love to be wrong about this

Hi there! I'm curious: what operating system are you using on your computer? And if it's Linux, what's missing from the accessibility tool to enable it to work on a Linux phone? Are there specific issues due to touch or something similar?

@silmathoron Hi! I can only really speak for visual impairments here, but I actually use Windows as my main OS since it seems to have the most mature accessibility options that work for my usecase. Linux accessibility is alright on the desktop (though it does require some fiddling and I've only had really good results with the Mate desktop), but as far as I'm aware touchscreens aren't supported at all. I used Linux almost exclusively for a few months earlier this year, but I had to go back since I do a lot of audio work also, and there's no DAW on Linux that's accessible yet.
but yes. The main problem that I see is making the touchscreen accessible using something like Orca. AFAIK this doesn't work at all yet. Most operating systems implement touchscreen accessibility by overriding the usual jestures with ones especially designed for accessibility - like swiping left and right moves you vertically through controls, double tapping on the screen activates the currently selected item, etc

Ok, thanks for the explanation, I expected that touchscreen might indeed work differently.
Sorry to hear things are not yet ready for you to be able to use Linux...
I hope some good news on mobile come soon!

@silmathoron I'd love to help but my knowledge of the Linux accessibility stack is completely nonexistent, and I think overall there are very few people working on it. I can definitely see why implementing touchscreen accessibility for screen readers might not be the most attractive thing to be doing with mobile Linux right now though since it's probably of little value to the people hacking on it. Maybe someday!

@talon I'd love to say you're wrong, but after all the years I've watched this space, unless we add touch-screen support to Orca ourselves, it's not gunna happen. Heck, they're only now adding CHROMIUM SUPPORT! I appreciate all the work that *does* get done, but it's nowhere near enough.

@TheFake_VIP I'd love to help out, but I have no clue where to start. Also developing accessibility software on an inaccessible device sounds painful.

@talon Me too. In order to develop Orca and related technologies, you'd have to get familiar with at-spi, which requires knowledge of how DBus works. DBus is relatively well documented, but at-spi certainly isn't. Almost everything is written in either C, with Gnome's GLIB/GObject libraries, or Python (including Orca's source code). Then of course, interfacing with a touch screen under Wayland is different to X or Mir, and I'm not even sure if you can grab exclusive access to the display.

@talon Basically, it's an entire mess, and from my point of view, at-spi needs to be documented before anything else, and we need to work out the bottle-necks that makes Orca have performance issues, or else write it in a faster, compiled language (if that's the problem). The stack that has been built up is pretty decent, but given that Orca can't even emulate a mouse on Wayland, Linux's new graphics mechanism and protocol, I think we're a long way from accessible mobile Linux.

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