Autism, Written Output, and Voice-to-text Technology: Dragon Dictate

This post was created during my first attempt at using Dragon Dictate for Mac (voice-to-text software technology)

Today I am learning to use Dragon Dictate for Mac. This is pretty darn exciting. I can see the benefits of this programming for all sorts of students and also for myself. As I get more proficient with it, I can even imagine using it for making new posts for my blog, dictating a letter or responding to an e-mail. Sometimes my ideas come to me more readily and more articulately when I’m speaking; thus, Dragon may be a program that is very beneficial for me. I’ll be able to promote the usefulness of this program with my students and demonstrate the ways in which it can benefit them as well.

My understanding, in the past, was that voice recognition software was not particularly accurate. In fact, my understanding was that it was working well if you were at 90% accuracy rate. I can see already, from my brief experience with this program, that the accuracy rate is much higher. Additionally, I can see how easy it is to quickly update or fix any errors as I am progressing. For me this will be a very useful tool.

I have always been a good writer, and am able to easily express my ideas. I do find spelling challenging however, and sometimes I have found that writing ideas can take longer than just saying them. In fact the way I process often is through what I hear myself say. So then, the process of hearing my own speech, in other words talking about something, is a huge part of my processing and a link to my own cognition.

When I consider students on the Autism spectrum (or those who experience other neurological differences), who may have challenges in organizing their thoughts and often experience challenges with written output, I can see that this Dragon Dictate software will potentially open up huge opportunities for my child and others like him.

Ahhh… the possibilities…

PS. This is not a promotional post for this program; rather it is simply a reflection of my experience with the software. I received no benefit or compensation from the makers or distributors of Dragon Dictate.

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by ASD.

©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2011)    

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About Leah Kelley

Leah Kelley, MEd., Educator, Parent, Speaker, Social Justice Activist. Writes blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding & neurodiversity. Co producer of documentary: Vectors of Autism. Twitter: @leah_kelley Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/leahkelley13/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/30-Days-of-Autism-Leah-Kelley/154311301315814
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3 Responses to Autism, Written Output, and Voice-to-text Technology: Dragon Dictate

  1. Alanna says:

    This is how I process to. :) I quote your quote … “In fact the way I process often is through what I hear myself say. So then, the process of hearing my own speech, in other words talking about something, is a huge part of my processing and a link to my own cognition.” Amen sista

  2. I remember how much fun I had trying to get speech software to understand me not that many years ago. I gave up on that. My older tablet had handwriting recognition software. The results were often amusing.

    I wonder if there would be a way for kids on the spectrum to benefit from Dragon or similar software. Perhaps an adult speaking and then the child seeing how the word is spelled?

  3. Pingback: Autism and Thoughts on Written Output: Infinity Blade II… A review by H | Thirty Days of Autism

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