Dragon for Disabilities, RSI and Dyslexia

Can Dragon help if you are dyslexic

I’m often asked whether the question “can Dragon help if you are dyslexic?”. The answer is a definite yes!

I have been able to help many people with dyslexia who are now successfully using Dragon to help make their writing easier. Not only does it save time but it also significantly reduces the errors that they make when typing because Dragon cannot make a spelling mistake!

People who are dyslexic often tell me that they know what they want to write and can talk about it, but they cannot get those words onto the page, and when they do, they often use simpler words which make their work look less professional.

Dragon will help with these problems!

The following text comes from an article written by Maryellen Grady…

I’m an assistant principal, writer and former English teacher (and I happen to be dyslexic)

I have never been able to type because I have severe dyslexia. It was when I was appointed to assistant principal that my husband, an attorney, insisted on purchasing me a copy of this software he called the “Dragon Speaking program.” I haven’t looked back since.

By Maryellen Grady

Posted November 19, 2014

I’m an assistant principal at a middle school, a writer, and former English teacher. I have never been able to type because I have severe dyslexia. Simple emails, papers, lesson plans, teacher observations, newspaper articles, and stories I composed always took me much longer to type than actually create. It was a frustration that I felt I had to live with.

When I was appointed as the assistant principal, my husband, an attorney, insisted on purchasing the “Dragon Speaking program” for me. He had used it for years to dictate memos and prepare for trials. When I first got Dragon, I was a bit intimidated. I didn’t know how it would really work for my writing style. You see, I always write out in long hand all of my work before I would type it. However, adjusting to having this tool proved much easier than I thought. I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking for everything. I also have presented the Dragon program to the entire administrative staff of our school system. In addition, I have suggested that parents purchased this program for students who are struggling in their classes.

Dragon has truly changed my life. I will always be dyslexic, but this tool has allowed me to be more efficient, productive, and happy.

The full article can be found here…

http://whatsnext.nuance.com/office-productivity/dragon-naturallspeaking-helps-assistant-principal-with-dyslexia/

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Can Dragon help people with RSI?

I often get asked the question “Can Dragon help people with RSI”?

I believe that the answer is yes having carried out many joint assessments for Access to Work with ergonomic experts, for people with a range of problems such as RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. These assessments have often been followed by training, so I have seen at first hand just how Dragon can help. It is no exaggeration to say that it can be life changing!

These conditions can be extremely painful and often develop over a long period of time when people use a mouse or keyboard at work, especially if the main task is repetitive, such as using the number pad on your keyboard to enter numbers.

You may not even notice that something such as RSI is developing initially, because you may dismiss a small pain as a strain or similar. This is potentially dangerous and RSI can significantly affect a persons lifestyle by making it painful to carry out every day activities such as lifting and carrying objects around the home.

People who use a computer keyboard for long periods of intense activity should be aware of this possibility and particularly if they start to experience pains in their hands, fingers or lower arms.

An ergonomic assessment can help by suggesting a different keyboard or mouse, an adjustable desk or chair that is more supportive, and being aware of head and neck movements as you work.

There are many different types of equipment available such as split keyboards where you can change the angle of working, or ergonomic mice, where you twist the arm to a more comfortable position, and these are important because the body is not naturally designed to use a keyboard or mouse, and it is often in the small muscles around the fingers that this type of problem can begin.

Ergonomic equipment is not always the only solution however, and voice recognition software can have a big part to play in helping to ease the symptoms of RSI and similar problems.

This software will allow you to eliminate the use of the keyboard almost entirely if you wish, and can significantly reduce the use of the mouse.

In many cases it is not a good idea to stop using your hands entirely, but equally, symptoms can change, and people I have helped often have days where they simply find it too painful to use either a keyboard or a mouse. Voice recognition software provides an alternative that will allow people to carry on working without exacerbating their painful symptoms.

Can Dragon help people with RSI? Yes, it really works because it is now so good!

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Dragon and dyslexia

I’m often asked whether Dragon will also help people with dyslexia and the answer is a very definite yes, and I have helped many to improve the quality of their paperwork with voice recognition software!

When I visit, I ask what are the biggest problems with paperwork and very often the response is “I know what I want to write but I just cannot get it onto the paper, but I can talk about it!”

That response virtually justifies using Dragon with some qualifications…

Firstly, if you can talk about it, you can clearly write it, because this is what Dragon does!

Interestingly however, it does not make spelling mistakes because it has such a large vocabulary. So proof reading is still very important and Dragon provides two tools to help make this process easier. It is also possible to ensure that words such as ‘weather’ and ‘whether’ are used in the correct context.

I often carry out timing exercises near the end of a training session to see how long it takes someone with dyslexia to type a piece of text, and how long it takes to do the same piece of work with Dragon – the answer is generally that Dragon is generally three of four times faster than typing and the record is nine times faster!

An added bonus is that the quality of writing is also better as people with dyslexia often use shorter words that are simpler to spell, and say that this makes their work look unprofessional, but when using Dragon they can easily use better vocabulary and often to think about what they are doing to stop waffling!

I recently carried out training for a lady in Kent who had to submit a piece of work and when it was returned with no errors, she commented that she nearly had a heart attack because this never happened!

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