Why Linux Is More Accessible Than Windows and macOS
Artificial intelligence and IoT implementations in various gadgets are paving the way towards an easier tomorrow, especially for differently-abled people. Voice recognition technology has grown leaps and bounds, while facial recognition continues to make device access easier for differently-abled people.
Linux is usually considered to be a complicated OS. On the contrary, it does not fail to cater to people’s needs with its list of technical features. Apart from special features, the advancements in the kernel and various customizations are making it a hit with the masses.
As a differently-abled person, here’s how you can benefit from Linux:
1. The Power of Customization
Customizations and modifications are extremely crucial, especially while dealing with people with special needs. Linux’s open-source nature allows people to customize their system so that they can modify it as per their requirements.
A popular closed-source operating system like macOS or Windows won’t let you modify the system beyond a certain level. A disabled person is likely to compromise with the restrictions imposed by closed-source operating systems and their lack of customization.
Let’s consider a simple example. Imagine a color-blind person, who has difficulty differentiating between colors. To change the colors of the system icons, they might have to cross extensive hurdles in operating systems like Windows and macOS.
However, Linux offers ease of use by allowing people to tweak the colors, size, and even the look and feel of their system-centric icons. This way, you can create a customized Linux system befitting your needs.
2. Linux Is Stable and Reliable
Everyone needs a reliable piece of software, but this need is amplified, especially for differently-abled people. You don’t want tons of bugs within the software that caters to a specific group of people, for obvious reasons.
Closed-source software is usually developed by a specialized group of developers, who are responsible for adding stability to the software. Subsequently, only this group of developers have the official rights to tweak the source code of their closed source software, which makes the bug-fixing process tedious.
On the contrary, a large community of developers supports the open-source software, and almost anyone can tweak the software, with an intent to fix bugs. Most software on Linux is open-source, thereby making the user experience smooth and seamless.
Linux uses the same kernel that powers most of its data servers around the world. Durability and reliability are the backbones of a good user Linux experience.
3. Linux Runs on Older Hardware
Regularly updating the hardware is tough for differently-abled people. Although updates keep a system’s health in check, by fixing bugs and inputting relevant security patches, they come with a hidden cost. New updates render older hardware obsolete.
Disabled people need an operating system that supports older hardware and stays functional for a long time. The recent controversy surrounding the TPM 2.0 requirement for Windows 11 shows the rapid pace of old hardware becoming obsolete. Every update makes the operating system choppier than its previous version.
On the other hand, Linux is a lightweight operating system that can even run on old computers. You can always find a Linux distro that runs smoothly on your computer. Finding such long-term support for old hardware is very difficult with other operating systems like Windows and Mac.
4. Linux Offers Complete Control to the Users
There is no point in using an operating system that restricts users from trying something new due to its built-in limitations. Most OSes believe in changing the user’s behavior, instead of adapting the working technical environment as per the user’s needs.
On the other hand, Linux shares every line of code with the user, providing complete control and ownership over the platform. You can always try new technologies on Linux, given its inherent nature, compatibility, and unending support for each of its distros.
You can go through each line of code and decide whether you are satisfied with an application’s security and privacy features. This transparency is important to build trust between the user and their daily drivers.
Accessibility Comparison Between Linux and Windows
Windows and Linux are two of the most popular operating systems that support an extensive range of devices. Both operating systems come with great accessibility tools. Let’s compare the various tools they offer for the differently-abled:
- Screen Reader/Narrator: This is one of the most effective tools in Linux and Windows; it is known as Screen Reader in the former and Narrator in the latter, respectively. You can choose between different voice modules in Windows. Screen Reader in Linux allows you to add your own voice module due to its open-source nature.
- Magnifier: This tool is tailor-made for the visually impaired. Magnifier makes elements on the screen bigger and makes text reading easier for the partially blind. The feature is equally good on both platforms.
- Keyboard shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts aim to ease the process of doing multi-step tasks by using key combinations. Windows offers a ton of keyboard shortcuts for all kinds of functions. You can customize Linux to support your custom keyboard shortcuts according to your needs.
- On-screen keyboard: The on-screen keyboard feature aims to eliminate the keyboard’s use for people who can’t access it. This feature is also significant from a security point of view as it becomes hard for hackers to log keystrokes from a virtual keyboard. The quality is present in both operating systems, but you can customize the keyboard size and layout in Linux.
Accessible-Coconut: An Accessible Linux Distribution
Accessible-Coconut is a Linux distro tailor-made for the visually impaired. Based on Ubuntu 20.04, the distro comes with MATE Desktop. It has many useful pre-loaded applications that save the user from installation hassles.
The Accessibility tab is a one-stop destination for all accessibility tools. You can find the screen reader, on-screen keyboard, magnifier application (Magnus), and a Braille writer in that section.
There are some more options like high-contrast text and bounce keys which make this distro ideal for blind users. The useful features and easy access to the accessibility tool make Accessible-Coconut a perfect distro for the visually impaired.
Linux Distros Cater to Every User Type
Linux offers a ton of unique features for the differently-abled. The customization and ability to control your machine makes Linux an optimum choice for every person with special needs.
The community support and compatibility with new technologies are only going to increase in the future. You should try Linux if you want to make your computer more accessible than ever.
via MUO – Feed https://ift.tt/1AUAxdL
September 14, 2021 at 07:37AM