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Dragon Speech Recognition – the perfect accessibility solution

Speech recognition for accesibility

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Students with learning disabilities often struggle to express themselves because of reading and spelling concerns. Common disabilities in this complex field are Dyslexia, Dysgraphia & Dyspraxia and ADD. A number of schools have established special needs facilities at significant staffing costs but often lack the one crucial assistive technology tool that can assist in this endeavor.  #

The technology I am specifically referring to is known by the generic name of speech recognition.  Speech-to-text tools have been around for a number of years, but until quite recently it underdelivered for the younger student.

Dragon Naturally Speaking V15 Professional, represents a step change in speech recognition in terms of ease of use and accuracy. With the Professional edition, the voice file is saved alongside the written document therefore it is much easier for a student to concentrate on creating the text without any focus on maintaining an accurate voice file.

A further factor is that when the student is interrupted, as inevitably happens with the types of conditions specified above, he/she can easily return to the document without any problems. This removes considerable stress and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.  The Dragon Home edition does not allow this and is therefore not considered suitable for many SLD type applications.

The software will also read back converted text.  There are other specialised text-to-speech programs available on the market such as “Read and Write Gold”, but Dragon may often be quite suitable as an all-in-one product.

In general terms, providing a student can speak clearly and consistently, the software will be highly accurate and be able to recognise words and sentences spoken at normal to fast speed. It has a good track record in the field of dyslexia in particular.   With proper training and support, the product is able to deliver outstanding results.

Technical Specifications

In terms of computing power we recommend getting something with an Intel I5 or I7 with 8GB of RAM if at all possible.  A less well specified PC is possible, but for the best user experience a fast machine is always best.  Here you can find more information and if you have any concerns be sure to discuss with us. Chromebooks or iPads don’t work. The software is not Mac compatible.

School Licensing

Nuance provide a special 20 PC Dragon Professional Group pack for schools. This lab pack allows up to 20 PCs to be loaded at a single physical address with an unlimited number of users.

For individual users, where the special 20 PC school pack is not appropriate, Dragon Professional 15 Academic is a possible option.

Installation/Training and Support

In terms of installation allow approximately an hour per PC.  For training SBS can provide one-on-one training for all users but the cost of this adds up, so we would probably suggest that we train an in-house resource who would be responsible for further installation and training to keep costs down and provide you with a degree of independence.  You would probably wish to follow the same approach for installation.
We also offer Application or Technical/User Support and this can be configured and priced to suit your requirements.

Audio Input Options

The audio input device used for Dragon especially with the younger dyslexic student is important. We have a range of approved headsets available in our online shop.

Recommended Viewing

For anyone interested in using speech recognition in a dyslexic environment we would strongly recommend you taking time to check out this video:

Students with learning disabilities often struggle to express themselves because of reading and spelling concerns. Common disabilities in this complex field are Dyslexia, Dysgraphia & Dyspraxia and ADD. A number of schools have established special needs facilities at significant staffing costs but often lack the one crucial assistive technology tool that can assist in this endeavor.  #

The technology I am specifically referring to is known by the generic name of speech recognition.  Speech-to-text tools have been around for a number of years, but until quite recently it underdelivered for the younger student.

Dragon Naturally Speaking V15 Professional, represents a step change in speech recognition in terms of ease of use and accuracy. With the Professional edition, the voice file is saved alongside the written document therefore it is much easier for a student to concentrate on creating the text without any focus on maintaining an accurate voice file.

A further factor is that when the student is interrupted, as inevitably happens with the types of conditions specified above, he/she can easily return to the document without any problems. This removes considerable stress and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.  The Dragon Home edition does not allow this and is therefore not considered suitable for many SLD type applications.

The software will also read back converted text.  There are other specialised text-to-speech programs available on the market such as “Read and Write Gold”, but Dragon may often be quite suitable as an all-in-one product.

In general terms, providing a student can speak clearly and consistently, the software will be highly accurate and be able to recognise words and sentences spoken at normal to fast speed. It has a good track record in the field of dyslexia in particular.   With proper training and support, the product is able to deliver outstanding results.

Technical Specifications

In terms of computing power we recommend getting something with an Intel I5 or I7 with 8GB of RAM if at all possible.  A less well specified PC is possible, but for the best user experience a fast machine is always best.  Here you can find more information and if you have any concerns be sure to discuss with us. Chromebooks or iPads don’t work. The software is not Mac compatible.

School Licensing

Nuance provide a special 20 PC Dragon Professional Group pack for schools. This lab pack allows up to 20 PCs to be loaded at a single physical address with an unlimited number of users.

For individual users, where the special 20 PC school pack is not appropriate, Dragon Professional 15 Academic is a possible option.

Installation/Training and Support

In terms of installation allow approximately an hour per PC.  For training SBS can provide one-on-one training for all users but the cost of this adds up, so we would probably suggest that we train an in-house resource who would be responsible for further installation and training to keep costs down and provide you with a degree of independence.  You would probably wish to follow the same approach for installation.
We also offer Application or Technical/User Support and this can be configured and priced to suit your requirements.

Audio Input Options

The audio input device used for Dragon especially with the younger dyslexic student is important. We have a range of approved headsets available in our online shop.

Recommended Viewing

For anyone interested in using speech recognition in a dyslexic environment we would strongly recommend you taking time to check out the following videos:

Find out how speech-to-text technology and digital dictation will help you work smarter.

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