This is small list of Linux laptops and PDAs connected to Braille terminals. The installations were done by non-blind people like me. But I would like to add installation reports from blind people. If you have information about the usage of Unix on mobile computers helping otherwise impaired persons either physically or mentally please let me know, too. Also other Linux tools suitable for blind or visually impaired people are mentioned.
|ACER AcerNote Light 370PCC||Debian Potato|
|Toshiba Libretto 50CT||ZipSpeak Linux|
|Toshiba T1100 Plus||ELKS Linux|
Stéphane Doyon(http://pages.infinit.net/sdoyon/) wrote at the iPAQ mailing list: "We (Nicolas Pitre and myself) have successfully ported brltty(http://www.cam.org/~nico/brltty/) to the COMPAQ iPAQ and tested the setup by interfacing with a BrailleLite 18 through the serial port. BRLTTY is a program that allows access to the Linux text-mode console using various brands of Braille displays. The BrailleLite is a small electronic Braille notetaker device which can act as a small refreshable Braille display. It also has keys so I can not only read but also type. So there's just the iPAQ and the BrailleLite device (with a horrible cable in between) and that's all I need to fully use the console on the iPAQ (in text-mode). A pretty powerful setup, yet very small. It should be possible to duplicate this setup with other Braille display models or other PDAs."
SeebyTouch(http://see-by-touch.sourceforge.net/index_.html) is the first development freely available providing the possibility to perceive pictures over the tactile sense. This is especially important for visually impaired people, since they cannot see pictures on a screen - they can use SeebyTouch as a tactile vision substitution system.
Many blind people have install Linux "eyes-free" either by using another computer (that already talks or includes Braille) as a terminal. Or, they use the SpeakUp(http://www.linux-speakup.org) screen reader, because it's a set of kernel patches that gives audible feedback from bootup to shutdown. Boot disks that include SpeakUp are part of several major distributions.
Simultaneous Stanza Reader(http://code.google.com/p/stanzareader/) speaks text files aloud and displays the text stanza-after-stanza simultaneously in a high contrast, large font window. Although this reader is meant to assist those with visual impairments, it can be used by anyone. It allows one to read a book while doing something else or sitting in a comfortable chair across the room. It is written for MAC OS X in Applescript Studio - applescript and xcode. See here for more information about AudioBooks, eBooks and Linux.