Speech Recognition Technology for the Disabled

In the past, students with disabilities were forced to rely on fellow students for assistance with notes and had difficulty expressing thoughts or questions during class. Other disabled students were unable to pursue their educational goals due to their medical limitations. Current artificial intelligence advances in natural language processing (NLP) give these students the ability to achieve their dreams with speech recognition technology.

Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing, also known as NLP, is the process by which a computer program interprets human input into a format that the program can manipulate. This type of program can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including providing query results for a search engine, and can process input in the form of typed commands or voice commands. An NLP software program performing Computer Assisted Translation requires a large database of potential words and sounds and can be customized to recognize words or text in a particular format.

Voice Transcription Software

Voice transcription software uses speech recognition technology to process voice inputs as needed. This technology can be used for two purposes. First, a student can use voice transcription software to record a classroom lecture as a text for later studying. This is a useful assistive technology product for a disabled student who has difficulty taking notes, or who has hearing limitations. Second, speech recognition technology is helpful for students that have limited hand movement, and need to compose homework assignments or term papers.

Currently, most versions of Windows come with voice recognition capabilities. It is also possible to download and install voice dictation software, called a Speech Recognition Engine, for free from Microsoft, if it has not already been installed on the destination system. This software requires a high-quality microphone, in order to achieve the best output.

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