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Speech Input


Speech input is now available with all common computer systems. Speech input can be used in two ways:

SwitchIt! Maker 21. the capability of the computer to record sound and speech, which can then be attached and added to other software: for example, children in the classroom could create a story using SwitchIt Maker 2 and use the speech input facility to record and add sound effects and speech to their story.

2. On some Pcs and Apple Macintoshs, speech input is available as a method of controlling the computer.

In order to use speech input, special software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking is required. With a PC a microphone, software and a suitable soundcard in the system is required. Speech input systems of this sort are capable both of turning text into speech and of using spoken commands to control the desk top and mouse operation.

Dragon Naturally Speaking V10No systems are yet speaker independent; that is, in order to work effectively a system will require a period of training to adapt to an individual's voice. These voice training patterns can be stored so that a number of different people can use the same system, just calling up their particular voice pattern before beginning.

A principal use of speech input is to help people who have difficulty with typing. It has become practical enough to be used in a business setting, particularly where people are recording specialised vocabulary, often used in the medical and legal profession.

Speech input has obvious uses for people with a range of disabilities as the training programme will allow most systems to recognise speech which is difficult to understand. The key is the consistency with which someone can produce their speech sounds so that the system will learn and adapt their particular speech. When translating text to speech systems are capable of handling something approaching continuous spoken text.

Using speech input requires a certain degree of skill. You need to prepare what you want to say and, as you are talking to the system, you will have to be able to continually check the accuracy of the recognition. This is usually done by the computer system showing guesses in a box on the screen. These guesses can either be accepted by continuing to talk, corrected by choosing an alternative from the list or spelling the correct word into the computer using the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie etc. alphabet. Some systems offer speech feedback, reading the guesses back to the user and reading the completed text back to the user. In this way it is possible for people with reading difficulties or visual impairment to use a speech input system after a period of training.

Speech input for users with learning difficulties


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