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KDE 3.4 offers improved accessibility

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KDE

zdnet has a nice little article covering KDE 3.4 accessibility features. They say, "An improved colour scheme and a tool that reads out text should make KDE Linux desktop more usable for those whose vision is impaired."

"It's a huge improvement in accessibility," said Matthias Dalheimer, a KDE developer. "There is a new screen reading technology for visually impaired people and a much better colour scheme with icons that have a high contrast."

Dalheimer said there has been "quite some" interest in the accessibility features in KDE. He believes that KDE is able to meet the needs of the disabled community better than commercial companies as they are not driven by revenues, which allows them to develop tools for a small market.

"Open source developers tend to be more responsive about the needs of people with disabilities, while commercial companies think about the bottom line," said Dalheimer.

The next major release of KDE, version 4.0, is expected later this year. KDE 4 may run up to 30 percent faster due to improvements in Qt, the graphical framework that KDE is built on.

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