After a long absence from the active online Perl community, I'm in the middle of reading up on a couple of year's worth of messages, websites and mailinglists :)
The pVoice project that has been kindly mentioned by others is my pet project. I must admit however that if pVoice was my pet, I have neglected it for so long that it would have died a horrible death by now.
Luckily, pVoice is just a piece of software, which can be revived pretty easily, which (again) I'm currently trying.
Now, to get back at your question:
The reference to pVoice -how flattering it may be for me- to me seems inappropriate. From what I read, your focus is on people with a vision impairment, that need screen readers. If not, I think you first need to define the intended audience of your application.
If your focus is indeed on the vision impaired, I must agree with your associate that command line rules, as that's the most accessible for braille displays and screen readers.
If you aim at using stuff like text to speech, or if you have some other intention, sure, you can use a GUI for nice looks. My personal preference would be wxPerl, but that's really up to you.
I hope my (late) reply is of some help to you.
Using Perl to enable the disabled: pVoice