I'm helping teach a Linux class, and we have a blind student. We're using Debian 9 inside a virtual machine as the students' Linux boxes. We were able to (somewhat) successfully install using speech synthesis (it just quit after some time, so I read his screen for him the rest of the time). We then installed espeakup, and it's mostly working. The only problem is that it doesn't read anything at boot, even the first login prompt. It does read what he types, as well as any further text, but he has no way to tell when it's finished booting. What could be the problem here, and how can I fix it?
Edit: To clarify, I am only talking about the VM guest. I am not asking anything about the host, which happens to be Debian, but that has no bearing on the question.