openSUSE and the ways of a11y

So further to my post on a11y in openSUSE, I was asked how one would enable Accessibility.  Now to be honest I only *kind of* know how to do it in GNOME, so I set off on a little exploration of the other desktop environments.

It may seem strange that I’m trying to champion a subject that I don’t really know, but that’s part of the reason why I’m doing so.  Accessibility isn’t supposed to a buzzword, it is meant to be a usable function for all.  Hopefully I can learn a bit along the way and get the message out there – oh and if you could do the same that would just be spiffy ;-)

I present what I have found so far below in a simple little pictorial guide of how to get to the general a11y settings.  I have tried four desktops – GNOME, KDE, XFCE and LXDE, I couldn’t find anything in LXDE so I’ll try and revisit it later once I’ve had more time.


  1. In the main menu select “Control Center”

Step 1 to enable a11y on GNOME

  1. Then under the “Personal” section, select “Assistive Technologies”

Step 2 to enable a11y on GNOME

  1. Select “Enable assitive technologies”

Step 3 to enable a11y on GNOME

  1. When you enable assitive technologies you need to restart your session for the changes to take effect.  You can easily do this by selecting the “Close and Log Out” button at the bottom of the window

Step 4 to enable a11y on GNOME

For KDE:

  1. In the Kicker menu select “Applications” then “System Settings”

Step 1 to enable a11y on KDE

  1. In the “Personal” section select “Accessibility”

Step 2 to enable a11y on KDE


  1. From the menu select “Settings” then “Accessibility”

Step 1 to enable a11y on XFCE

Like I said this is just a very quick guide on how to do it.  I’m very sure there are more settings to deal with, especially in KDE but I don’t know them (yet).  If you do then please shout out and help.

One of the next things I need to learn is what applications are there specifically for a11y.  I know of a few but never used them (at least I dont think I have), and I’m sure I only know of a small number.