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OldHippieChick wrote

I hope that this is not seriously looming in your future.

If so, all I have to offer is analogies about how broken bodies are sometimes easier to live in than they are to imagine living in.

So things like this do happen. The first thing people are going to do is try to buy you an iBad. Sell the damned thing--you'll need the money to pay your helpers. Once they put the laptop on your chest, you can probably operate the keyboard with a pencil in your mouth.

It wouldn't be fun or cool or high tech or interesting but you'd be in good company. Stephen Hawking and Neil Young's kid had to do the same thing in their 20s, iirc, and we both know a pencil in your mouth and free software beats the hell out of Siri and Alexa.

If you don't even have that much mobility, the next step would be to recognize the movements of your eyes. It gets even lower tech than that, but humans need to communicate.

If all you have is a board with the alphabet on it and a sympathetic helper to watch your eye movements and guess which letter you are looking at to help you spell out the word you want to say, you'll do it.

We are a social species. We did not evolve to live in isolation. You would do whatever it takes and you'd do it with courage. I know that much about your character anyway.


elyersio OP wrote

Thanks! Although it sounds way easier to move my eyes than to press keys with a pencil in my mouth.

I'm not expecting to become paralyzed, just worried about the state of free software accessibility. Another example would be if I lost both my hands in an accident.


mofongo wrote

There's mycroft, not sure how good it is though.


OldHippieChick wrote

Hey, tfs. I may or may not check this out for an octogenarian friend if I can find the time. A lot of seniors who don't actually need speech to text are being pressured into using proprietary software for the convenience of the staff at their retirement community, so it might help just to be able to say "STFU, my developers are on this!"

Great thread even though I derailed it.

< cringe >

We lose so much talent when we dismiss accessibility as "too much trouble" for the able bodied.


TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

It's slowly getting there: mozilla is doing something called "mozilla voice" since last summer and afaik they'll release the code this year.


geegaw wrote

My experience with voice recognition algos is that they all suck. You would probably be better off using alternative input devices instead. Eye tracking, blinking, controlling things with tongue/lip/jaw movement and so on.

Blind people have some interesting ways of dealing with computing too.


OKC wrote

If you became paralyzed, using your computer in a libre manner would be the least of your concerns. Using copyrighted software designed to benefit the disabled is hardly a travesty.


elyersio OP wrote

What fucking software did you just fucking recommend to me, you little used? I'll have you know I am the top paying FSF member, and I've been involved in numerous anti-DRM movements on my Lenovo Thinkpad, and I have over 300 confirmed freely licenced projects. I am trained in free software activism and I'm the top programmer in the entire GNU project. You are nothing to me but just another sucker to Microsoft. I will wipe your hard drive the fuck out with software freedom the likes of which has never been seen before on the internet, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with promoting that absolutely proprietary shit to me over the Internet? Think again, motherfucker. As we speak I am contacting my decentralized network of activists across the world and your IP is being traced right now so you you better prepare for the storm, noob. The storm that convinces you to wipe out the pathetic little thing you call Windows. You're fucking owned, kiddo. Proprietary software can be anywhere, anytime, and it can violate your fredom and privacy in over seven hundred ways, and that's just in your browser. Not only am I extensively experienced in convincing people to switch to Linux, I have access to the entire arsenal of CLI commands, and I will use them to their full extent to wipe your miserable operating system off the face of your hard drive, you little shit. If only you could have known what RYF certified retribution your little 'I have nothing to hide' comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn't, you didn't, and now you're paying the price, you goddamn Windoze user. I will shit GNU all over you and you will drown in it. You're banned from the Church of Emacs, kiddo.