Eric,
first, with all due respect.  until you are using these tools in a 
situation that mirrors the varied ones by those experiencing vision loss, 
you cannot even guess at this.
as for my interest in what I would want to see improved in freedos, have a 
look at enhanced Dr dos and you will get close.  That and the kind of 
solid stability I enjoy in editions of dos that do not require upgrades 
with frequency.
I chose ms dos 7.1 for that reason, even though not under development.
I wish you success with *your own* continued exploration of what you think 
are screen readers.
this is not something you try once as an experiment, its something, that 
due to your visual experience you work with for weeks or months or years 
to even begin to manage...in my opinion of course. The suggesting that 
someone could put on a blindfold  play with some applications and be 100% 
solid in understanding how any aspect of that experience is like, let 
alone just screen readers and speech demonstrates why it can take so long 
for access to be universal grin.
Karen

On Fri, 9 Apr 2010, Eric Auer wrote:

>
> Hi Karen,
>
> while I have not used any screen reader, I have used both
> text to speech (to announce incoming mail) and written a
> tool to forward an extract of a DOS or Linux text screen
> to a 4 by 20 LCD display, navigated by buttons on the LCD.
> The latter arguably has some similarity to a screenreader.
>
> I also played with Orca in Linux, but given my experience
> with reading Brltty sources (once discussed the possibilty
> to port it to DOS for a while with somebody) I think I do
> have some idea on how those things interact with the user,
> although again only in text mode. Last but not least we had
> some Braille and screen reader enabled systems at university.
>
> In none of those contexts I got the impression that it
> would affect the user experience whether the voice output
> is generated by hardware, by the screenreader itself or
> by a separate text to screen software feed by the reader.
>
> My comment about DOS was mostly related to the idea that
> if things are modular, you are more flexible. For example
> I have an ancient text to speech TSR which, with patches,
> can still work on modern hardware. It uses the PC speaker,
> no soundcard. It can only do monotonous, English output.
>
> It is monolithical, so it cannot drive modern soundcards
> nor change voice and of course is not even a screen reader.
>
> To get back to the original topic, which aspects of DOS,
> EDR DOS and Freedos would you like to be improved?
>
> Eric
>
> PS: I also have a SP0256 chip somewhere which does hardware
> text to speech. To be more exact, phonemes to speech. Also
> has the problem that it only can do one English voice, while
> for example the free MBROLA software is much more flexible.
>
>
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