Speakup is a screen reader for the Linux operating system that allows blind and visually impaired people to interact with console-based applications. Speakup has two main advantages when compared to other screen readers:
- its core is built-in into the linux kernel, making it extremely lightweight and optimized. speech synthesis can take advantage of text-to-speech engines running in “user space”;
- it can give the blind and visually impaired access to parts of a system that other screen readers cannot, such as boot and shut down messages; these can be extremely helpful when diagnosing issues on your PCs!
Many popular linux distributions compile speakup within their kernel, but it needs to be enabled by changing certain boot parameters; unfortunately, the way to accomplish this result is different for each distribution: please check out their documentation.