1.2 About Universal Access in the GNOME Desktop

In Oracle Linux 7 you enable and customize assistive features in the GNOME desktop by using the universal access feature.

You can optionally add an accessibility menu to the top bar of the desktop, which provides an easier way to turn accessibility features on and off. If the accessibility menu is not displayed, open the Universal Access settings panel, as described in the following steps, then toggle the Always Show Universal Access Menu switch to ON.

Note that you can only turn features on and off by clicking the menu icon on the top bar. If you need to customize accessibility features, you must do so in the Universal Access settings panel.

  • To open the Universal Access settings panel in the GNOME Classic desktop:

    1. From the Applications menu, select System Tools, and then select Settings.

    2. In the All Settings window, click the Universal Access icon.

  • To open the Universal Access settings panel in the GNOME desktop:

    1. In the top bar, click Activities to open the Activities overview.

    2. In the Type to search... field, start typing "universal access", then click the Universal Access icon.

      Tip

      For quick access to the Activities overview, press the Super key, which is located next to the left Alt key on most keyboards. The Super key functions the same way, regardless of which GNOME desktop version you are running.

  • To manually open the Universal Access settings panel, type the following command:

    $ gnome-control-center universal-access

Customizing Accessibility Features

You can customize accessibility features in the GNOME desktop by using the Universal Access settings panel, which is divided into the following sections:

  • Seeing

    This section includes accessibility features and options for users with visual impairments. You can enable and customize the following settings:

    • High Contrast: Adjusts the contrast of windows and buttons on-screen so they are more or less vivid.

    • Large Text: Enlarges font so that it is more readable.

    • Cursor Size: Increases and decreases the mouse cursor size.

    • Zoom: Magnifies text so that it is more readable. Zoom is the default magnifier that is provided in Oracle Linux 7. See Section 2.3, “Using the GNOME Magnifier”.

    • Screen Reader: Enables you to speak the user interface. Orca is the on-screen reader that is provided in Oracle Linux 7. See Section 2.1, “Using the Orca Screen Reader”.

    • Sound Keys: Beeps when the Num Lock or Caps Lock key is turned on or off.

  • Hearing

    This section includes the Visual Alerts accessibility setting. When enabled, this setting provides a visual indication when an alert sound occurs. Available options include: Flash the window title and Flash the entire screen.

  • Typing

    This section includes accessibility features and options for users with mobility impairments. You can enable and customize the following settings:

    • Screen Keyboard: Enables you to use applications and the desktop without physical keyboard. The GNOME on-screen reader (GOK) is the default on-screen keyboard in Oracle Linux 7. See Section 4.1, “Using the GNOME On-Screen Keyboard”.

    • Repeat Keys: Specifies that the keyboard not repeat letters when a key is held down. This setting also enables you to change the delay and speed of repeat keys.

    • Cursor Blinking: Causes the cursor to blink in text fields when enabled.

    • Typing Assist (AccessX): Opens a sub-menu that contains the following keyboard settings that you can enable and customize:

      • Enable by keyboard: Enables accessibility features to be turned on and off by using the keyboard.

      • Sticky-keys: Enables a sequence of keys to be treated as keyboard combinations. You can further customize sticky-keys by selecting these options: Disable if two keys are pressed together and Beep when a modifier key is pressed.

      • Slow-keys: Inserts a delay between when a key is pressed and when it is accepted. You can specify a length of time for the delay (ranging from Short to Long) by adjusting the Slow-keys slider. In addition, you can select any or all of the following options: Beep when a key is pressed, Beep when a key is accepted, and Beep when a key is rejected.

      • Bounce-keys: Ignores fast, duplicate key presses. You can specify a length of time for the delay (ranging from Short to Long) by adjusting the Bounce-keys slider. A Beep when a key is reject option is also available.

  • Pointing & Clicking

    Users who have difficulties using a mouse or pointing device can customize features in this section. See Chapter 3, Working With Assistive Mouse Tools for more information.

    You can enable and customize the following settings in this section:

    • Mouse Keys: Enables you to control the mouse pointer by using the numeric keypad on your keyboard.

    • Click Assist: Provides assistance for clicking a mouse.

      You can customize the following settings in the Click Assist dialog box:

      • Simulated Secondary Click: Triggers a secondary click by holding down the primary button. You can specify a length of time for the delay (ranging from Short to Long) by adjusting the Acceptance delay slider.

      • Hover Click: Triggers a click when the pointer hovers. To specify a length of time for the delay (ranging from Short to Long), adjust the Delay slider.

        To specify a motion threshold range (from Small to Large), adjust the Motion Threshold slider.

    • Double-Click Delay: Enables you to adjust the length of time to delay the double-click action.

For more detailed information about universal access in the GNOME desktop, go to https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/a11y.html.