Final report on free software is published

In the Spring of 2008 MediaLT received financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of Government Administration and Reform to carry out a survey related to accessibility in free software . The final report has now been published.

Story by: Morten Tollefsen - 12.11.2008

The project has focused on Norwegian distributions of Linux and various applications. We have also tested Open Office for Microsoft Windows with assistive devices for the visually impaired.

The aim of the project was to:

Survey accessibility for the disabled in Norwegian Linux distributions and important software. Eventual challenges should be identified and possible solutions suggested.

The main objective was divided into the following milestones:

  1. Generate an overview of Linux distributions and desktop environments with respect to general accessibility.
  2. Survey user groups and the need for new Norwegian forums related to Open source and disabled users.
  3. Generate an overview of computer assistive devices and appropriate Norwegian adaptations.
  4. Consider applications and functions for people with different assumptions and needs.
  5. Assess the need for improving expertise in connection with installations and daily running.
  6. Make available information and project results.

This project has shown that free software, with the main focus on Linux, is an exciting alternative, also for the disabled. Even now a blind user can use a PC without purchasing software! The project has, however, also shown that more work is needed to improve expertise, disseminate information and develop software.
The following measures are proposed:

  • Develop the information brochures and educational materials
  • Web based expertise exchange
  • Offer user support specifically for the disabled
  • Provide a pilot group with cheap PCs
  • Develop a DAISY-player
  • Test /further develop solutions for optical character recognition
  • Improve screen reader and Norwegian speech for Linux
  • Localise a free screen reader for Windows

Report in Norwegian

News archive

Sort by category

Sort by article author