plug-in for (Windows)
WordQ+SpeakQ. Your complete writing solution.
is for those who cannot use other speech recognition products because they cannot fluently dictate at a fast rate, remember verbal commands, and/or get through training.
SpeakQ plugs into WordQ and adds simple speech recognition. Conventional speech recognition systems are designed primarily as a productivity tool for persons who have no trouble writing (and dictating) or as an alternative hands-free access tool for persons with physical disabilities. WordQ/SpeakQ, on the other hand, is for those who can type but who have trouble writing and reading in the first place. They can benefit from a combination of word prediction, speech output and speech input to generate text when stuck with spelling and word forms, identifying errors, proofreading and editing. Such users may find it difficult or impossible to use other speech recognition products because of reading demands and complexity.
SpeakQ features a simple training interface where the computer prompts you by voice what to say. You can then dictate directly into any document or dictate into WordQ's prediction list. Your speech is combined with the word prediction. To keep it simple, there are no verbal commands. You only dictate text. Teachers in special education will appreciate its simplicity.
"I had a 9-year-old laugh out loud and say, "Look at that - I wrote a paragraph." SpeakQ worked for her! It has gotten my approval" (Teacher)
"Before this technology, my son's school only ever saw him as a learning-disabled child with a pile of deficits. Now they see a kid with all these strengths." (Parent)
Issues with conventional speech recognition
- Difficult or impossible to customize training text
- Often difficult to read training text
- Continuous dictation is difficult
- Difficult to monitor recognized speech
- Complex control and correction
- Unable to integrate word prediction and speech feedback
- Inevitable return to keyboard-only use
- Simplified customizable training
- Speech prompting during training
- Discrete (combined with word prediction) or continuous dictation modes
- Ongoing speech feedback of recognized words
- No verbal commands for control or correction
- Tightly integrated word prediction, speech feedback and speech input
- Assumes that user will both type and use speech recognition
Whether you home school a child with written output difficulties (see Supported Learning) or just want a simple to use voice recognition software for yourself, SpeakQ is an excellent choice. Training your voice is simple with a variety of reading passages that are read out loud. There are no voice commands to learn. You use your mouse and keyboard to run your computer. It also functions seamlessly with WordQ allowing you to move back and forth between the two thus reducing the frustration inherent when learning to use voice recognition technology. Whether you are writing reports or writing recipes (or both!), SpeakQ makes word processing by voice easy to learn and simple to use.
SpeakQ was developed by a research and development team at Holland Bloorview Children's Centre in collaboration with the Education Development Center (Newton, MA) with funding from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, US Department of Education Grant No. H133G000204-02 as well as the Ontario Rehabilitation Technology Consortium.
Speech recognition technology enhances the writing abilities of many individuals, yet some individuals who may benefit from this technology, do not pursue its use. In the case of some students with learning disabilities, present-day speech recognition products do not meet their needs due to reading demands, operational complexity, and the lack of integration with assistive technologies such as word prediction and text-to-speech. This has led to the development of SpeakQ, an innovative new software program that combines the power of speech recognition with concurrent access to other technologies, and offers students a writing solution with distinct advantages.
SpeakQ enables users to dictate words into any standard Microsoft Windows document in either a continuous or discrete word-by-word manner. SpeakQ is used in combination with WordQ 2, a writing tool with advanced word prediction and text-to-speech capabilities. Together, these tools provide an integrated and flexible approach to writing, and assist students with their spelling, proofreading, and editing activities. Students now have the option to dictate text, type on their keyboard, choose word predictions from a list, or alternate between these methods, each of which has been optimized to enhance the effectiveness of the other.
Designed with ease-of-use in mind, SpeakQ simplifies speech recognition technology. During the training (or enrollment) process, SpeakQ automatically reads the required training text to users, who then need only to repeat the spoken words or phrases at their own pace. At the same time, the training display minimizes visual distractions, and accommodates users with visual differences. To reduce the complexity of dictation, SpeakQ emphasizes the task of writing, and eliminates the need to memorize voice commands. In addition, recognized words and phrases are immediately read aloud to facilitate the detection of recognition errors. Then, to facilitate error correction, highly accurate word alternatives are suggested by combining speech data with statistical predictive data. As a result, the desired word can be selected with a minimum number of keystrokes.
SpeakQ supports two styles of dictation. Like other speech recognition products, it allows users to dictate text directly into their documents. In addition, it also supports a style of dictation that is unique to SpeakQ. This approach uses word prediction capabilities and introduces a concept we call “speech-enabled word prediction.” In effect, spoken words are displayed as a list of choices enhanced by word predictions. Users select from the list of words, or type letters to further refine their choices. By using this approach, not only can students control the words that are entered into their documents as they speak, but they can also improve the accuracy of the words. Consequently, they can spend less time correcting recognition errors, and more time on the real task of writing.
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