learning difficulties: voice recognition software – dyslexia, dysgraphia & other specific learning difficulties (SpLD’s)


voice recognition software – can it help people with dyslexia, dysgraphia and other learning difficulties?

Voice Recognition Software’ (VRS), which is sometimes called ‘Speech Recognition’ (SR), is a brilliant tool for any one, whether they have a learning difficulty or not. However, for the student who has problems physically getting his / her work on paper, it is set to revolutionarise the way we teach and the way students are taught.

A few years ago, VRS, got a bad name when some companies were selling software which quite honestly wasn’t really up to the mark. Nowadays, with companies, such as Dragon Naturally Preferred and ViaVoice, etc. sudents just cannot lose. This software is easy to master and work extremely well for students who know what they want to write, but have physical problems getting down on paper.

Today some of this software is independently tested to be 99% accurate and is so easy to learn that even a child can do it with maybe just a little help.

This software works by ‘talking’ to your computer. As you talk, the words are written on the computer screen – and they are spelt correctly. (No more confusion with is it ‘there, their, or they’re’, the computer can tell which one to use because of the grammar (words) you are using. This type of software helps to improve spelling because the student always sees the correctly spelled words. The computer types up exactly what you say. The golden rule is, when you record your own voice to speak in your normal voice, stressing ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘and’ etc’, but not in a robotic voice as we obviously do not speak like that everyday.

If you are going to use this software to do your studies etc., it may help if you just gave a few minutes thought to how you want your ‘homework’, essay, thesis to be.

It is usually best to jot down a few notes, and depending on the child / student’s age, I have used methods, such as the ‘spider’ to a proper mind map, or if you prefer plan your work in the first instance on other software programmes, such as Inspiration and MindGenius.

Two of the easiest Voice Recogntion Software packages, I have found to use, are:

Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 – Adult). This easy to use speech solution allows you to create, edit and revise documents without using a keyboard. Further information from ‘REM’.

Via Voice Pro (7 – Adult) – enables the user to create, edit and revise documents, integrated with Microsoft Word – all without using a keyboard and it’s easy to use. Further information from ‘REM’.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

• Talk to your computer and watch your spoken words appear in documents, email and IM’s
• Your voice is turned into text three times faster than most people type
• It learns to recognize your voice instantly, and continually improves the more you use it
• Most accurate version ever, delivering up to 99% accuracy with no spelling errors
• Easier than ever to use: Dragon NaturallySpeaking installs quickly and requires no special script reading
• Use your voice to dictate and edit in virtually any Windows application
• Browse the Internet: search the Internet, access information, navigate Web pages – all by voice
• Surf the Web just by speaking within Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and AOL and more
• New on-screen help and tutorials will make you an expert user in no time
• Works the way you work: add names, addresses and other words to your custom vocabulary
• New Quick Voice Formatting allows formatting and editing your dictated text in record time
• Control menus and dialog boxes by voice in virtually any Microsoft Windows application
• Protect yourself: reduce the risk of developing repetitive strain injury by talking instead of typing
• Dragon NaturallySpeaking products have won more than 175 awards worldwide for accuracy and ease-of-use

Via Voice Pro