My friends from the Accessible World want to play with Nethserver

Thank you @apradoc for this initiative. If we can help disabled people with opensource software and making that software a full integration in the network, we can help those people to be full part of society.

When we start at this project, we first need to identify what disabled people need to be able to use ict. Is that hardware? Is that adapted software? What kind of disabilities do we want to, or probably better: can we support?
Next step is identifying opensource solutions that already exist and find out what is needed to implement them in NethServer.

There are probably multiple solutions and maybe even overlapping solutions in functionality. When choosing a solution, we have to have a clear picture of what we want to accomplish and probably need some discussion about this.

It could even be a great topic for our conference in September later this year. Maybe we can invite an expert speaker on this topic?

Further more, I suggest, that if several people are interested in this subject, we can create an @accessibility_team and a dedicated wikipage on the subject.

If there is anyone with knowledge on the subject, I gladly invite you to give some ideas. If anyone knows solutions and can explain what benefit they can have for disabled people, also please chime in.

For me this is a complete unknown topic, so I will need a lot of reading on it. Looking forward to comments!


Although I don’t have any experience in this area, I know it would add value.

I know of blind person who did the Comptia A+ course and passed it with flying colours a couple of years ago and could physically build a PC with minimal assistance, so the challenge would be would be to cater for the complete novice to IT expert.

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Regards @bwdjames .

In a way it is true for most, including myself, we are novices in this issue of accessibility. :sunglasses:

In our case the initiative decides to take off right now with 2 children’s stories, Yoisber & Zamuel, which are formed with us as future video game programmers in the Caciquitxs Foundation. This institution is dedicated to complement formal education with ICT-based experiences, making different and fun learning.

About these two children, 13-year-old, one has full visual disabilities and the other autism spectrum. His enthusiasm and ICT development is so admirable that the least we can do is … to enable a server so that, if possible, work as a team without major limitations. And it could be a server with Nethserver.

I share the first game programmed by Yoisber, accessible with Phyton. Developed on the platform pilas-engine, original from Argentina.

His father has authorized us to share a photo of the child working.

The code

We have the support … (rather) We know that we have the support of our brother Ernesto, blind of birth and current leader in accessibility evaluation of some of the GNU/Linux distributions that develop in Venezuela. He has extensive experience with the accessibility tools to evaluate hardware and software.

Surely this will be an experience that would result in the distributions that are given accessible support in our country and sensitize the planet to understand that we will have a better world if we listen to minorities on equal terms.

This idea does not let me sleep hehehe :sleepy: :sleeping:

We are a global tribe, and as Yoisber and Zamuel there are more children, and wonderful persons in the diversity of our capacities and disabilities. We are going to complement each other.

####We are a big and WORLD team!

Let’s agree this time, at least and for a laudable cause that will leave benefits for all.

We are Nethserver


Thank you @apradoc for sharing this beautiful story. I would like to take off on this so we can make a difference for these 2 young men and for the rest of the handicapped in the world.
Now let’s start being pragmatic.
What kind of functionality is needed to give these people an extra aid in using an ICT environment. What can we add to NethServer to make a difference? Are there any options server side that are needed?
Or should we think of a client OS that is helping them out?


Thank you brother

My friend Ernesto is very happy with this news:

He said:
Hello my compadre You know that whatever works for the benefit of Persons With Disabilities (PCD for its acronym in Spanish) can count on my full support; It would be a matter of agreeing and meeting to evaluate the platform … With regard to the trip to Italy well …! Whoever bitter a sweet!

We are already working to answer those questions, providing stability, coherence and credibility to this project.

Ok … well they are interested in the subject of accessibility; In the course of the day I send you the answer to such questions.

Many thanks for your guidance @robb


It would be a great feature for NethServer, let’s be pragmatic as Robb stated.
Provide us a sort of analysis so we can try to figure out what it’s needed.

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I would need to confirm this, however, I suspect that the web interface may need some level of built-in tab functionality for easy of navigation for the blind combined with some sort of integration the screen readers. I don’t know enough about the screen readers to say how difficult or easy this may be and it could vary widely depending of the screen reader.

For the partially sighted, could there be a similar feature as in Microsoft Windows (please don’t flame me for this - its the best example I could think of at the time) where one would increase the size of parts of the screen for better visibility and ease of visibility.

I know that there will be other accessibility options for others who may be similarly challenged, just not sure what they are.

Come to think of it - an on-screen keyboard may help for those who need to use a stylus and touch-screen as they may not be able to use their hands or may not be able to use a conventional keyboard.

These two features are great, but it is based on the assumption that NethServer is already installed. So I suspect that besides making the standard everyday interface work with the accessibility tools, the installer would need to be given some serious thought of how to make it work with the accessibility tools and this could be a bit trickier and maybe take quite a bit of work as well.

There is most probably a lot of other examples of things which could be added to the accessibility tools, but this is the little bit of what I could think of and hope it helps and could give a bit of food for thought.

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I found this on the gnome website:
A magnifying glass for the webinterface would be a great step in the right direction.

And this for more info about Universal access:

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Hi brothers

On Thursday I was talking with my friend Ernesto about this topic among other Web projects that we are sharing.

The interpretation of the screen readers depends almost entirely on a correct structure and description of the generated HTML, which in the first line we refer to the GUI of the Nethserver user interface. It is also important that the images necessary for the GUI are well identified and described (The less images better).

This is what I think we should consider from the server: a very good structure and description of the GUI template and if necessary another simplified template with accessible objectives. This may also include the installation interface ( I forgot to see that topic :pensive: )

Exactly @robb. Ernesto explained to me that all the interpretation is done with an additional software that records everything that exists under the mouse as well as the events that happen on the screen. The best experience about it has had it with the ‘Orca Reader and Magnifier’, which is developed by Gnome.

On the other hand my friend told me that the VI Code Editor is quite accessible, although he prefers the Nano Code Editor for being simpler.

I invited him to the community to take advantage of evaluating ‘Discourse’ … but better one thing at a time :relaxed:

We continue to report :microphone:


Just my gut feeling: changing the current NethServer GUI might be a bit hard and even end up in a mediocre experience for both the ‘normal’ world and the ‘disabled’ world.
Therefor, I would opt for a 2nd theme for the NethServer Webgui that is tailored towards the disabled world. Then ‘we’, the normal functioning people, can stick with a gui that we are used to, and the disabled users of NethServer will get a gui that is specially created with their disabilities in mind without compromise of functionality that is wanted by normal functioning people.
This accessible theme could be chosen like you can choose a different language. Maybe even automated like it is now for the language setting: it reads the system settings and adapts automagicaly.

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This is really a very complicated issue…

I am disabled myself, I can only access my PC via an eyetracker (which unfortunately only works on windows systems btw). I access nethserver either via the GUI or via ssh respectively directly (if I am working on a virtual box).
and I have some experience in making an accessible website - I am the webmaster of - however I am not an real expert…

Regarding the html/php code, the GUI looks pretty accessible (of course, one could improve it - e.g., by using aria tags and so on… However, each field has already a label and the items have title tags etc.).
But what can be improved (and this is probably rather simple to do) are the contrasts… I have just analyzed a few contrasts in the GUI, using the contrast analyzer provided by… and I found, e.g., that the background color of the selected menu item should be much darker (I mean .Navigation.Flat a.currentMenuItem of which the background color is defined in base.css l. 49) or alternatively the color of the respective font should be changed to #000. this is certainly not the only color that can be improved…

Furthermore, this community is not accessible at all…! :frowning: Even I have already encountered several problems in using it (and I am not blind)… however, I know how difficult it is to make a community platform accessible (I am currently trying it for the website I mentioned above… When/if I am finished, I will of course share the code on github and post the link here…). The thing, I personally am struggling most with in this community platform here, is that it is not so easy to scroll the posts in a topic, i.e., when using the page up/page down keys on the keyboard, jumps often occur (especially if images are posted etc.). I don’t know why this is happening…!

Of course, there are much more things to do if we want Nethserver really accessible for everyone… This would be really really great, of course, but it will be also very hard…!


Greetings Aaron

We also started research on the accessibility of Discourse

I share a interesting link about it

Your experience is a valuable contribution

P. D. Obviously, as you say, is a lot of work. For example these tests they did for ‘Discourse’ in 2013. I share the link

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Let’s put our money where our mouth is. A very short search on Google gave me litterally TONS of opensource eyetracking solutions.

These links could be nice starts to go from. Can we do anything with this? Would this be a good base for client side eyetracking solution? Or can it even get a place as a (community) module for NethServer? (I didn’t study the options yet)
I know I like cherry picking, so let’s try and find the best solution from these options (and all the other options that I didn’t mention yet) Seeing all these options, I can’t imagine we can’t use an opensource eyetracking application.

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I’m sorry for the issues you came across, unfortunately what I can is pushing the Discourse community to improve that. Thanks @apradoc for your links
@davidep how can we tackle this challenge? @phonon112358 will be happy to help


Let’s split this topic and start a new feature request!


@robb Perhaps you misunderstood me a bit… I do have an eyetracker solution (Tobii PCEye mini) but there are no drivers for any Linux system for this one… that is (to my knowledge) the only eyetracker that is working for me (due to my specific handicap, I move the head in an uncontrollable way - and this makes it difficult for the eyetracker)…
Furthermore, I am ok with using Nethserver that way I do it currently… for me personally, everything is accessible (either via ssh or via the GUI)… of course, I couldn’t install it by myself on an real server, but on virtual boxes I can of course… :wink:


@phonon112358, probably I misunderstood you. I feel almost ashamed I never stood still thinking of what it means to have a disability. Being almost 51 years old, my only discomfort is my eyes don’t focus too well at close range. But this is a VERY minor problem and easily fixed with some reading glasses.
So my call to you is: please educate me, us, with the knowledge how it is to live with a disability. We all can learn from each other. Let us help each other in making this world a bit better for all people. This should start with the awareness of what it means to not being able to do everything in a “normal” way. So please, make us aware. The step after awareness would be searching for solutions.


I love that sentence. That’s the culture to which we aspire. :sunglasses:


No reason to be ashamed!!! :wink:
Every handicap is different and needs to be traded separately…! This makes it so difficult to make something really accessible for everyone…! I only know what is are the difficulties for me personally - but even I have sometimes problems to imagine what a blind or a deaf person struggles with…! However, since I founded the network Chronically Academic (, I know some people with other handicaps and I get feedback, i.e., on that website… but as I said, I am also not aware of every problem which disabled people might have…!

Great!!! :wink: That is also exactly my attitude! :wink:

For me personally, only this community platform is sometimes a bit difficult to access (as described in a previous post) - Nethserver itself is pretty great for me to access…!! :wink:
However, this is only for me and my specific handicap…
For people who have a visual impairment, the GUI should definitely be make more accessible (which is now a separated topic Server manager accessibility improvements) and there are certainly other handicaps for which one has to adapt other things…! Hence, lot of testing is required and lot of work…! :wink:
But all together, we will make Nethserver more and more accessible…! certainly not perfect for everyone but at least “accessible”! :slight_smile:


Bumping this important topic.
I was looking for this topic at other projects pages and found this link in the Moodle documentation section:

We could adopt some (or all?) of the suggestions.