Here'sIRC INFO for ALL +Extras

Things to Remember (Before you Start)
IRC for Speech/Braille (Single Script)
IRC for Low/Strained Vision (Single Script)
IRC with Less Colour 'Clutter.' (Single Script)
NOT just for the Blind (Closing Notes)
Offer and Challenge (For Everyone Interested)

Welcome to my page on adapting Internet Relay Chat, making IRC more accessible to those with low or strained vision and people who use speech or Braille output devices. There's something here for everyone who uses IRCII.

The script files that are available from here are intended for those who are using a shell account on a UNIX system (or ISP that runs on a UNIX operating system). If your Internet Service Provider uses SunOS UNIX (as does it's all the better. If you aren't certain whether or not your ISP uses UNIX look carefully at what comes on your screen while logging in and if you're *still* not sure, contact your provider's technical support staff.


Before we begin with the goodies, a few things to keep in mind. While I've worked on and/or with these files and found them satisfactory, they are NOT PERFECT and shouldn't be expected to be so. They may or may not clash with other IRC scripts and/or clients the user may be running. The scripts may behave differently, depending on the IRC server in use. If a problem occurs and you're loading multiple scripts when you log into IRC changing the order in which the script files are loaded may (I repeat *MAY*) resolve the difficulty. It took time before I came up with the best order for my own script loading. In short YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!

Give the appropriate script a try and see what happens. I see no way in which any of these scripts can damage any files, clients or servers. I've been told that all three of them are quite useful for the people who need them. Others have commented that even IRC users with normal vision can benefit from using these files.


The first of the three is called, irctalk. It was passed on to me by Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV ( Irctalk will configure your IRC session so that the output to the screen is more friendly for those who use speech or Braille output devices. It removes just about all of the extraneous punctuation marks, and has a rather 'smooth' visual look. Simply download irctalk from this site and put it in whatever directory you might use for IRC script files. Irctalk MUST be in your shell account to work. It won't work if you download it to your home PC and attempt to use it (that is of course, unless you're using LINUX or some other UNIX operating system at home *gryn*). Then use a standard text editor (such as pico or vi) to put the following line in your .ircrc file (And remember this is UNIX. Just because you can't see a file when you do ls DOES NOT mean that it isn't in the directory or doesn't work. If you're running a standard UNIX shell any file with a period (.) as the first character of its name won't be visible in a regular directory listing, since it's meant as a primary configuration file. It's there, though. Trust me. *smyle*

/load irctalk

If irctalk is in a directory other than your root directory be sure to put that directory name before irctalk so your .ircrc can find it. After you've saved your .ircrc file just run irc and you should notice the difference immediately. Irctalk can be modified with a standard text editor (Just remember to save the original BEFORE you edit Hehehe).


The second script is the one that I put together myself. It's the one I've worked the hardest on, and have used for a few years now, whenever I've run IRCII on my own shell accounts. The original idea for it came from a conversation with an EfNet IRC operator nicked Andrew, that I've known for several years on IRC. He pointed me in the right direction and gave me some helpful tips that got me started. Thanks, Andy.

The result of our original idea and my subsequent hours of trial, error and colourful language is called ircons. Its job is to highlight important events in an IRC session such as private messages, notifications and channel mode changes. Most Windows IRC clients highlight events with different colours, text and/or sound. Not much in the sound department with ircons, but it brings the eye to events quite well. I've also added time marks to some of the events for convenience. Ircons is primarily for people with low or strained vision who want or need these events in a more "eye-catching" format than most standard IRCII server/client output provides.

If you wish to modify ircons with an editor BE SURE to use one that will retain the embedded control characters in the file. Otherwise the instructions for using ircons are identical to the ones for using irctalk. All you need is to download ircons and add it to your .ircrc file in the same way as I've described for irctalk. Simple. Just as with irctalk once you've started using ircons you should notice the difference sraight away.


Finally there is nocolor.irc. This one was passed on to me by Nevermore ( Users of IRCII, particularly those with speech and/or Braille output will appreciate this script. It will dramatically reduce the 'screen garbage' that results from the use of colour-coded text on the IRCII screen. There will still be a few anomalous characters, but the number of them will be much smaller. Download nocolor.irc and use it as with the files above.


S T O P !

About this time I'm sure that many people are reaching for that old mouse or those arrow keys, ready to blow this page away because they don't think that any of the three scripts I am offering apply to them. Before you hit that Left-Arrow or click that mouse button however, stop a moment and think. Have you ever suffered from eye strain from being on IRC too long? Ever find yourself missing an important IRC event because you've been distracted in some way and haven't been able to keep up with what's going on in the channel(s)? Did you ever wish that screen output could catch your eye better? Are you tired of the extra scroll you have to deal with because someone's using colours?

If the answer to any of the above questions is "yes" or if you know anyone who might answer these questions that way the scripts here are a great solution. You don't need a special computer to run ANY of them. You don't need different hardware or an expensive software upgrade. All you need to do is download these scripts and put them in your .ircrc file. That's it. I can't charge money for these, and wouldn't if I could. They're free. If you don't like them, simply delete the pertinent line(s) from your .ircrc file and erase the script you downloaded from here. Everything will return to the way it was before you loaded the script.


Those who are of a mind to do so are invited to link this page to their IRC pages. If there are any questions about any script on this page, please do not hesitate to use the links at the bottom of any page on my site to email me at and I will do what I can to help. If you're into IRCII scripting yourself and you think these files bite then I challenge you. Write a better one and not only will I use it but I'll post it here for others to use and you'll get the author credit. Are your scripting talents up to the challenge? B-)


Worthy endeavours & organizations to support are

Website Accessibility Free Speech on the Net

Equality for the Blind Release of
POW/MIAs Still Held

Click Above for More Information.

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