Tactile systems such as Braille have been in use since the 19th century to help the visually impaired and the blind to communicate.
In recent times, technology has also made life much easier for people living with disabilities to use computers. One such innovation is software based on voice recognition, which has made it possible to dictate and compose documents completely hands free.
It gives users the option to use a speech-to-text system, which means users talk to the computer and their input is interpreted and converted to electronic text.
Dragon is an especially impressive product as it was originally developed for people who would rather use their voice to operate a computer. Therefore, not only does the software help the visually impaired, but also people with mobility issues and other physical disabilities.
Much as the software is easy to use, it is still advisable to train people to use it.
The American Foundation for the Blind suggests a number of ways to make a quality system like dragon dictate work more efficiently.
One of these is to use a Bluetooth headset, this means users do not necessarily have to be in front of the computer to work with the software.
Another tip is to remind users to mute the microphone when not using the system. While this may seem straight forward, it is a helpful pointer for the visually impaired.
Overall, voice recognition has the potential be a potent method for anyone who cannot use a keyboard due to a visual or physical disability. However, it is important to remember to be patient with new users, so they can learn to use the system efficiently and effectively.
Various versions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking exist for different types of specialists such as medical doctors and lawyers.