Disable the Universal Access accessibility menu in Gnome

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In Gnome Shell, also known as Gnome 3, there is an accessibility menu called “Universal Access” that cannot be removed, at least not by any method that I had tried.

There are  a couple of ways to disable the universal access accessibility menu in the Gnome 3 interface.  The first is to use an extension by adding the following repository and then installing the corresponding extension.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions-noa11y

In order to use the extension you must have installed “advanced features” for Gnome 3 using the following command or synaptic, searching for gnome-tweak-tool and installing.

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Oddly enough, the package is called gnome-tweak-tool, but once the installation is complete, it will be listed as Advanced Settings in the menus.

The Universal Access accessibility menu can also easily be removed, hidden, or disabled by editing a file and restarting the shell as well.

Edit the file /usr/share/gnome-shell/js/ui/panel.js

Look for the following line:

'a11y': imports.ui.status.accessibility.ATIndicator,

Comment out this line like so:

//'a11y': imports.ui.status.accessibility.ATIndicator,

Then restart gnome-shell by typing Alt-F2 to run command, enter “r” without the quotes, and hit enter. This will quickly restart the shell and you should find that the Universal Access menu no longer appears.

If you should find a use for it in the future, simply undo your changes by either disabling the extension or un-comment the lines found in /usr/share/gnome-shell/js/ui/panel.js

Last Updated On October 24, 2017