Hello folks, this blog is coming to you via the amazing Dragon naturally speaking voice recognition software.
I've been struggling with typing for long periods for a while now because my hands are getting much weaker and painful. When I'm not using my hands they curl right up into loose fists and I have pain in my fingers, knuckles and wrists most of the time now. I also have shooting pains through my hands and up into my arms a lot. This has been making it increasingly harder to use my hands for certain tasks. Writing with a pen has been hard work for at least a year now, typing for a few months.
Annoyingly I can touch type with great precision and speed having learned when I was younger and working as a legal secretary. So imagine my frustration when I realised recently that I was no longer be able to rely on typing as much as I have. Add to that my increasing brain fog and you can see why I was getting worried and nervous about starting to study towards my second degree in June!
I'd heard about voice recognition software including Dragon naturally speaking, I noticed that a few of my disabled friends were using it for studying. I decided I definitely needed to have a try because it was probably something I was going to need in order to get through my degree. Luckily I have a friend who already had Dragon and offered to lend it to me for me to try it out.
I've installed dragon onto my laptop about an hour and half ago. After spending about 10 min going through voice training, which gets the program to recognise your voice, vocabulary and accent etc, I then had a quick play about dictating a few Facebook posts as well as learning the basic program commands.
It seems quite surreal but after just an hour or so of playing with it, I am already able to dictate this entire blog post having never used voice recognition software in the past! The best part, I don't have to worry about my awful spelling! LOL
What I find most amazing about this is not the way the program works, or how precise it is at recognising what I'm saying, or even the speed at which I'm able to write this blog. The thing that excites me most is how much I'm going to benefit from this program.
There are many days now where I'm unable to answer e-mails, chat on Facebook as much as I would like, and there is some work that I've needed to do for the past three weeks for my Bible study class that have been unable to do. And as for my blog, it's something that I rarely get to do now because my hands and brain just aren't up to it.
With this program I will be able to keep up-to-date with my work, friends, and studying. Not only that but I will also be able to do things and try things that I've been wanting to have a go at but just not been up to it. I hope that with voice recognition software I will be able to get blogging regularly. One thing that I'm looking most forward to is been able to do work, type letters and chat with my friends online on my bad days where I am stuck in bed with very little energy and too much pain.
I realise now just how invaluable software like this is to people who are far more disabled than I am such as people who have quadriplegia, spinal cord damage and other paralysis.
So there we have it, thanks to modern technology, you have been able to enjoy some late-night ramblings from me thanks to Dragon naturally speaking voice recognition software and my very supportive friend Angie!
I'm off to catch up with my snail mail. I have at least 10 letters from my chronically ill penpals that need answering. And guess what… I think I'm going to get through them all :-)