2004 Conference Proceedings

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Edward S. Rosenthal
Next Generation Technologies, Inc.
20006 Cedar Valley Rd. #101
Lynnwood, WA 98036-6334
425-744-1100 ext. 15
Email: edward@ngtvoice.com

In May 1997 Dragon Systems released the first continuous speech recognition software under the product name of NaturallySpeaking. Since the subsequent release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional version 2.0 this powerful speech recognition software has included a scripting utility for customizing the speech input engine. Each subsequent version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking has attempted to improve on both the accuracy of the speech to text engine, and the reach and breadth of the command and control capabilities.

From 1998 through 2001 (NaturallySpeaking versions 2.0 through version 5.0) Dragon utilized a proprietary programming language/format called Dragon Voice Commands or .dvc . Starting with the release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional version 6.0 by Lernout & Hauspie several new programming utilities were added which include basic utilities for creating text and graphics macros, keystroke macros, and mouse recorder macros. In addition the final utility, referred to as the advanced scripting utility, allows the use of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code. Within these four specific methods for customizing Dragon NaturallySpeaking a competent user should find a method for automating and accessing almost any PC-based activity. Additionally, these utilities can be used to link speech recognition (whether speech to text or command and control) into other applications and other devices.

As speech recognition has improved, and gained further acceptance as a mainstream assistive technology the ability to customize the speech engine for the needs of a given user have become more powerful and important in ensuring a successful implementation/outcome. Professionals providing services and support associated with speech recognition technology for a broad range of computer users need to continue exploring the capabilities of customized installations and methods for improving PC access and results.

The four basic scripting utilities include:

  1. Text/Graphic
  2. Macro Recorder (i.e., mouse)
  3. Step-by-Step (i.e., keystroke, application call, etc.)
  4. Advanced

Understanding the basics of each utility allows the computer user or Professional to make effective use of the available tools providing maximum benefit from introduction of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech input utility. It is also an essential component in integrating speech input with other assistive technology applications. Finally, well constructed use of macros allows for efficient use of other technologies like fax machines, etc. by voice alone.

Edward S. Rosenthal is President and CEO of Next Generation Technologies, Inc. located in Lynnwood, Washington. He is a Dragon Certified Instructor (DCI) and Dragon Product Specialist who has trained hundreds of individuals to successfully use speech recognition technology to achieve their quality of life and vocational objectives using PC computing. His company was the initial manufacturer/distributor of JawBone software for Jaws for Windows(1998), and has recently introduced MagniTalk software for Zoomtext screen magnification software. This presentation/discussion will provide a demonstration of each of the various utilities and review of specific real-world cases where customization of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking utility created opportunities for PC access and functionality for individuals with disabilities. A review of available resources will be provided in both print and alternative format for presentation of attendees.

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