Re: Voice Software, Injuries and CTS

Subject: Re: Voice Software, Injuries and CTS
From: Candace Bamber <cbamber -at- CASTEK -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 07:57:00 -0500

Suzette Seveny said:
>I experienced almost 100% improvement by using a split keyboard, and a totally
>ergonomic work environment - chair, desk, mouse, etc. - the works.
> Unfortunately, the company currently employing me will not let me use my own
>furniture and/or equipment, and does not believe in investing in ergonomic
>furniture for their employees. Several people I work with are complaining of
>symptoms that suggest CTS, while one person has both hands braced.

I found the split keyboard helped immensely - although it took about a week to
get used to - I've never
been the best typist. I also got a new mouse pad with a gel wrist rest - much
better than foam.

However, IBM's ViaVoice (Executive Edition) is what saved me. It took about a
month of serious
effort to train "us" - it had to learn to recognize what I was saying, and I
had to learn how to talk to it. It wasn't
easy, and not something you can decide to do lightly because it takes a lot of
time and effort. But I can now (after six months)
talk to it at about 60-80 words per minute about very technical subject matter.
That number includes making "on the fly"
corrections when it selects the wrong word, which I've gotten much better at
with practice.
This is actually way faster than I could ever type.

The hardest adjustment for me was learning to compose written English with my
mouth rather than my fingers.
I think a different brain process is used (there's my amazing medical theory for
the day!).

I had a completely different experience with my company than Suzette did: As
soon as the person I report to
found out, a flurry of activity began - new ergonomic equipment began arriving -
including a new very fast computer with
128 Mb RAM to run my voice recognition software. One of the partners took care
of it personally, and six months
later still checks up on me.They gave me the time I needed to train ViaVoice and
were very supportive of the
whole process. One of my assignments during the training period was to write an
evaluation/case study and a
business case for making VR software available as part of our standard set-up
for those who need it. I still had
other work, but I was able to rearrange it to minimize the amount of keyboarding
I had to do. We also have massage day
on Thursdays (which is paid for by our benefits package) - regular massage
really helps circulation and muscle pain.
(You can consider this paragraph a plug for my company, Castek. My other post
today is a position opening - we're hiring).

This post brought to you by IBM via Voice!

Candace

**************************************
Candace Bamber
cbamber -at- castek -dot- com
Castek Software Factory
Toronto, ON
**************************************


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