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Make the login prompt accessible without using the standard gnome-based AT-SPI framework. This spec should apply to GDM, KDM and FaceBrowser.


The login screen should be accessible. Achieving this with the traditional gnome accessibility tools including AT-SPI, Orca and GOK is non-trivial, heavyweight and may have security implications.

Use cases

Same as AccessGDM.


Extend the login applications with built-in accessibility support.


With built-in provision for accessibility, each user group must be considered separately and a suitable solution found for each.

Feature activation: Add a menu item for 'Accessibility' to the Options menu in GDM. Activating this option brings up a selection window with Radio button options for the different accessibility cases:

[Cancel] [Activate]

This dialog can also be reached directly via the F5 key and the individual choices can be activated with a number key [0-5] and Enter. This extra route of activation is important for two reasons:

A description of each assistive feature follows.

High contrast

A set of high contrast GDM themes with larger font has been created. Screenshots and tarballs here.


This case is also solved with a special theme, though the zoom factor will be much higher. In both cases it should be possible to adjust the 'zoom level' (=font size) with keybindings. It should also be possible to invert the colours.

Speech synthesis

Direct speech output: At the login prompt a blind user really only needs to know when is the right time to type in the user name and password. This info could be piped directly to a software synth such as eSpeak from GDM/FaceBrowser.

When GDM is ready you would hear "Welcome to Ubuntu. Please type your user name." A few more outputs would also be needed, prompting for password and listing other options found in the F10 menu.

Sticky keys

Use standard X functionality to allow for modified key behaviour such as sticky keys and slow keys. Suitable defaults can be found that will work well for most cases.

On-screen keyboard

onBoard does not use AT-SPI but simply pipes keystrokes to X. It's been tested to work with GDM. A custom GDM theme and a custom keyboard layout may be required to ensure that the keyboard does not cover the login prompt or menus. Both are easy to make.

Unresolved issues


Accessibility/Specs/GdmAccessLite (last edited 2008-08-06 16:14:45 by localhost)