Saturday, July 10, 2010

Talk to Me (More)

My friend GM, (introduced in “No Comment”), sent several comments to me this week via email. He was responding to a post from a month ago titled “Talk to Me,” in which I was looking for some (hands-on) user experience with speech recognition programs that can operate a computer without sight, without a mouse, and without full use of the keyboard. The question was precipitated by another friend, Ben, who had been using an assistive technology program called “Guide” and was now hoping to find something better.

GM wrote:
“Dorrie, if the answer is anywhere it ought to be known at lighthouse.
Where should we look? Have you Googled it? Quizzed other Lighthouses? The AT community?”

My reply:
Yes GM, there you have it in a nutshell. If the answer was known at Lighthouse or Google, I would not be writing a post about the problem; I would be sharing the solution (with glee).

GM wrote:
“I asked around and got these replies;
Michael McCarty at APHB wrote: I know that with J-Say, one can speak to the computer and control it and use JAWS at the same time. I’ve heard of this being done, never have watched it myself, but folks say it does work. Only problem I know of is that the program is rather expensive.Ike Presley at AFB said much the same”

My reply:
Yes, I’ve heard as well, but this is an expensive solution (about $3,000) for someone trained in the use of JAWS screen reading software. For the rest of us, it is no solution, at all.
GM wrote:
”The VA is using Guide.”

My reply:
Well GM, this is what Oprah would call “a full circle moment.” We are right back where we started.

Thanks GM, lets’ not give up – one day soon when we are looking for something else – the answer will inevitably arrive.


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