OT: Voice-activated software

Subject: OT: Voice-activated software
From: Walter Crockett <walter -dot- crockett -at- informix -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 08:56:29 -0500

Our 15-year-old daughter, Emily, has had a "relatively benign" brain tumor
for the last nine years that has caused her to lose the use of her left arm
and has also damaged her vision to the point that she is legally blind and
can't read without putting her eyes right next to the text. In addition, she
is very sensitive to glare, so this poses a major problem for reading and
writing on computer. Finally, she finds it much easier to deal with
something in her lap, or on the coffee table in front of her, than to sit up
straight in front of a large computer monitor.

We've tried a variety of tools with no success, including a magnifying
device that projects the printed word onto a big TV screen, and Zoom Text, a
magnifying software that can also read back what you write. Voice-activated
software brings its own problems because she can't see what she has

As part of her special education plan we are trying once again to get tools
that might help. The school system will buy her a laptop. We are looking
into using a software called Preferred Dragon Speak. Has anybody had any
experience with that? What sort of laptop should we get and how much memory
should it have? She's going to have several programs on it, such as ZoomText
and music software. Does anyone know of any other features of the laptop, or
other software, that would be good to have?

Walter Crockett


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