Equipment such as printers, modems, mouse devices, and keyboards that attach to one of the computer’s ports so that users can send, receive, and print information using that computer.
For users with disabilities that restrict their ability to use mouse devices and keyboards, voice-recognition software provides an alternative means for these individuals to conduct their computing activities. By wearing a headset and by speaking into a microphone, users can substitute typing with dictating words and sentences. Users “train” the voice-recognition software system to become familiar with their voices and convert spoken words into text. The software is designed to track errors that it makes—such as correcting the word “lock” to appear as “luck” by learning the individual’s speech patterns and idiosyncrasies.
Two suppliers of speech-to-text dictation software include the former ScanSoft, Inc. (now called Nuance Communications, Inc.) and IBM Corporation. The suppliers claim an accuracy rate approaching 99%.
Weinberg, P. Speak and It Shall Be Written (Or Pretty Close). The Globe and Mail, March 10, 2005, p. B10.