For the past 15 years I have been using voice recognition software! It is where I talk into a microphone, and it types for me. It has been a lifesaver for me in so many different ways. I started using this when I was in college. I was having difficulties keeping up because my typing was so slow. So as I was telling my DARS (the rehab that paid for my school) counselor about my troubles and she suggested me getting voice-recognition software. So I had a sweet lady that the rehab paid to come to my house and set me up with Dragon voice recognition software. I have been using it ever since! It started out being Dragon voice recognition software I believe, and now (technology is getting better and better), it is called Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Right now, I have version 11 but I know they have version 12 out now so an upgrade maybe in the near future.

Let me share with you some of the loves in our relationship.

1. One of the symptoms of my disability is speech and swallowing issues. I really believe that by speaking into the microphone to understand me I have to enunciate my words clearly, and project my voice. So I am in return strengthening my vocal chords!

2. I never would have made it through college without it. Being a journalism major I was constantly having to write papers.

3. The ability to add commands for phrases and stuff that are said over and over.

4. It saves a lot of time and energy on the typing aspect, but I have horrible mouse control due to my lack of coordination and fine motor skills. My fingers are turning in which makes it difficult to click the mouse pointer, but I am able to bypass some of the mouse control.

5. I would never be able to be so wordy (LOL) in my e-mails, chatting or posting on Facebook, or the Camp Craig Allen’s Corral support group.

6 And most importantly I would not be able to write on this blog!

 

Here are some of the ways that make up the hate (hate is such a strong word) part of our relationship:

1. Dragon is a man-made product, so it is not perfect! Saying wrong words and phrases. I try so hard to edit it, but it is inevitable that I will miss something! My focus is not the best either, so I will have an extra set of eyes to look over my posts on here. Just know that if you see an error, blame Dragon. That’s what I do, LOL! Even sometimes I don’t even know what the heck I was trying to say, and I was the one writing it! Sometimes it cracks me up, and depending on who I am writing to I am not worried!

2. When getting on the Internet certain web browsers do not work. However, I have just found Google Chrome (I do not know why I never tried it before), and it is wonderful! No issues so far! Also, surfing through websites is not the easiest.

3. When you get the Dragon it always comes with a microphone, and in my opinion is not the best quality. This sometimes can make a difference when it is trying to understand what you were saying. I have gone through so many microphones because I end up breaking them, or rolling over them! It is so frustrating. I have a small head so it is always falling off. However, over a year ago I bought a wireless microphone headset from Walmart! The brand is Plantronics, and I like the sound quality it gives me. I do not always use it but Dragon does have a read feature where you can highlight what you are wanting it to read, and say read. That last sentence really belonged in the love relationship part!

As you can see the pros definitely outweigh the cons. And through the cons I have found reasons to make me laugh and not worry! Yes, sometimes it can be frustrating like most relationships are, and you learn to take the good with the bad. So I highly encourage you to get a Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice dictation software. If you or anyone you know are having troubles with typing or mouse commands. Try this. You will not be sorry you did. Just remember to be patient, and do not give up on it understanding your voice! You can purchase a Dragon as cheap as $45! You can go on Amazon or eBay to see about getting one. Sometimes going to their website is a little more expensive!

If you have any questions about any of my experiences with using Dragon you can comment on here or I can be reached at stephaniek@campcraigallen.org!

Rolling on for now, Stephanie