Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some Last Minute Technology for the Holidays

• Speech-to-Text


Someone who has low vision or hand movement restrictions can use a speech-to-text product like Dragon Naturally Speaking, one of Nuance voice control products. Nuance voice Controls will allow users to use voice commands to dictate emails to Blackberry, to add appointments, and to search the web. Sony ICD-SX46 Digital Voice Recorder can be used with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Software. Tablet PCs have a sensitive screen designed to interact with a complementary pen. You can use the pen directly on the screen like a mouse to select, drag, and open files and can be used in place of a keyboard to handwrite notes. Tablet PCs should also have speech-to-text technology. Nexus 1 Smartphone has a Speech-to-Text feature as well.

• Text-to-Speech

Screen readers are also available for free or purchase, depending upon the product. ReadPlease is a free screen reader for home use that reads text that has been cut and pasted to the screen reader on a computer., but you can also by a more sophisticated version.  Students who are blind can use JAWS to listen to everything on their computer. Zoom Text and Magic also have text readers built into their software. Electronic pens are available also that can read notes aloud, scan and store text, transfer information to PDAs, Smartphones, and Personal Computers. Some of these pens can also translate English in other languages. The Pulse, Smartpen by Live Scribe lets the user record notes and then replay the written words by tapping on the notes. Notes can be saved to the computer and shared as Flash videos, PDF files, or audio files.

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