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My need for voice recognition software.

By Andy

In order for me to participate with the world of written information. I need voice recognition software and text to speech software.  As I have multiple impairments at include severe dyslexia.  I've been using voice recognition software since 1994 and found this type of assisted technology very useful.  Although it can be a nightmare at times.  Sometimes placing words in my sentences that I haven't said.  Other times how ever hard I try pronouncing words very carefully the voice recognition software still gets it wrong.

Some days I use my voice recognition software and it's recognising words I saying very accurately.  Psychologically this is very good for me and I feel much more confident about participating with written work.  Then on other days the voice recognition software doesn't seem to be recognising what I'm dictating very well at all.  Then it feels like very hard work to dictate small amounts of work and I just want to give up with it all.  I often think on these days that I wasn't born to participate with the world of written information.

Another difficulty I have is the sheer speed of computer equipment and software developments requiring almost constant updating to newer stuff.  However the latest technology doesn't always provide what's needed.  Ideally I would like to sort of "pick and mix"!  However software and hardware often doesn't like this.  New software doesn't always want to work with older software or equipment and likewise knew equipment doesn't mean its going to work with older equipment or software.  I find some older technologies work much better however I need to participate with that what others are using and this can often lead to problems.

Most people use computers today and perhaps most people have computers at home now.  However disabled people have been using computers for a very long time.  Disabled people were very quick to realise that computers and other technologies provide them a degree of independents and an opportunity to participate within society more easily.  Drawing the 1980s most disabled people I knew used computer equipment at home possibly 20 years before other members of society.  Disabled people pushed the computer technologies to the limit and I often wonder whether technology would be wear it is today if it wasn't for disabled people.

I certainly think that's the case for voice recognition software.  At the beginning of the 1990s voice recognition software was about £10,000-00p pounds.  Not many people were interested in this software due to the high price.  However for disabled people it meant independents.  Imagine if you were severely disabled perhaps paralysed from the neck down unable to move any part of your body underneath your chin.  However your able to talk everything else has to be done by carers or medical staff.  So you are totally dependent on other people doing everything for you.  Now think how valuable voice recognition software would be if you were in that situation.  You would have the ability to use a computer without other's helping you to a degree.  Find information to read or control things in your home via the computer and dictate text into documents.  Now perhaps you can see for some disabled people voice recognition software would be worth £10,000-00p or even more.  

Sometimes I got the feeling talking to software companies developing voice recognition software that there only customers were disabled people. It seemed like disabled peoples needs were well looked after within the design of voice recognition software.  Then the price came down and down and I remember buying a boxed voice recognition software package for £12 in 1998.  Voice recognition software was then designed for the general public and today I wonder is the disabled customer is forgotten about.

Now my main needs for voice recognition software is due to my dyslexia and I often find the newer versions harder to use.  The older versions of voice recognition software doesn't work so well with newer operating systems.  I would personally like to use open source software and use the Linux operating system.  Unfortunately there isn't any dictation voice recognition software for Linux although there are some developments and there is command speech recognition software for Linux.

Some time ago I started an on going discussion title "is there voice recognition software for Linux?"  On the Hi2u 4 people with hidden impairments, web site.  If your interested in following this issue please news the following link.


If you have any ideas that you think maybe of help for me please feel welcome to contact me just look for contact info link on the site map of this site.

6th March 2009





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