I can’t not post this here:
3 Mouse Tech, a group of which I’m a member, has been working on something cool: DictationBridge.
DictationBridge is currently doing an Indie Go-Go fundraiser (please help spread this around!) but in the end it will be free (and open source!) software that allows people to use both a (Windows) screen reader and speech recognition (such as Windows Speech Recognition or Dragon NaturallySpeaking) together.
Normally, one cannot just do this on Windows, though there is some specialised software on the market that works specifically with the JAWS screen reader. The idea behind DictationBridge is that it’ll work with many Windows screen readers (screen reader agnostic), and will be free. This is a sort of “for-us-by-us” software— it’s needed by the blind and dictation-using communities, and so they are the ones building it, since the big software companies aren’t.
Not only does this allow screen reader users with mobility problems or RSI (repetitive stress) use dictation software, it allows users of dictation software (due again to mobility problems or RSI) to test and use screen readers. One of the people working on DictationBridge has traditionally been unable to test screen readers for her work for very long due to being unable to type for more than a few minutes at a time. With this community-created, community-sourced and community-funded software, she’ll be able to do her job better.
There are some audio demos available at the website if anyone’s interested. More importantly, we hope this software inspires more for-us-by-us work where communities not being served can whip up something for themselves (and hopefully is also useful to broader groups).
Do keep us updated on this project, @Stomme_poes.
I don’t use either form of software, but it seems to me to be such an obviously-useful combination that I was surprised to find it doesn’t already exist.
There is already something: J-Say and J-Dictate are JAWS-specific dictation bridging programs, which cost I believe ~$500 or so. J-Say is closer to what DictationBridge is trying to do.
IF DB gets its goal of money, it will work with
ZoomText Fusion (which is magnifier ZT with the base screen reader of W-E built in… this product from AiSquared is meant for people whose vision is fading and will eventually need to switch from magnification to a screen reader)
JAWS, in a somewhat limited fashion
WSR (windows speech recognition)
Dragon Professional (which lets you write scripts-- this allows one to make additional commands in DB).
Here’s what’s supposed to work depending on the funding received:
Thanks for the update and further information, @Stomme_poes.
I do hope you get the necessary funding to get this off the ground. (It’s strange how appeals to benefit an individual often seem to find it much easier to raise funds than appeals which will benefit many people,)
New interview with Lucy Greco about DictationBridge (audio only, I don’t see any transcripts, sadpanda):
In this interview, Lucy focusses on how DB will offer something to users of screen readers other than JAWS, and with not just Dragon but the free/built-in Windows Speech Recognition, offering a low-cost dictation+screenreader solution for people, especially those in financial difficulty (not uncommon amongst people with disabilities).
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