How To Program Your Radio



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    Eric oyen

    well, Chirp is fine and all, but it does have one very big glaring problem for a specific community, that being the blind radio operator. The software is not, in any meaningful way, accessible to a screen reader or braille display user in either windows using JAWS or NVDA, or OS X using VoiceOver. The only OS I know of where accessibility works is in Linux using a GTK based desktop manager and the ORCA screen reader package. However, since many blind radio operators are either windows or OS X users almost exclusively, this leaves a lot of us out of the ability to program our radios the way we need. Many Blind operators are also not tech savvy enough to learn a new OS immediately. Because of that steep learning curve, many do not try.


    Now, over the years, I have tried to convince the developers of Chirp to make their product a bit more accessible, only to be rebuffed by either other users or by the main developer himself (claiming it would be too difficult). I have repeatedly pointed to resources that would minimize said difficulty, only to be ignored. Mind you, as free open source software, this package is probably best. Still, when a large community of radio operators are left out in the cold, there really is only the paid alternatives (like RT Systems or even the manufacturer of said equipment and even then, accessibility is hit or miss).


    In any case, for the ordinary radio enthusiast, this is a good package to go with. I just hope the developer sees the point of going with diversity and being inclusive to all users of his package.

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