Monday, 09 October 2017 11:37

Nuance gains NDIS approval, launches Dragon Accessibility

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Mother of software-based Dragons now breathing new life into disability sector is Nuance, whose newly released Dragon Accessibility software has gained the approval of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

NDIS. It is the Australian Government’s "National Disability Insurance Scheme" which "provides support for Australians with a disability, their families and carers. The scheme aims to support a better life for those with a significant and permanent disability".

Nuance says its registration as an NDIS supplier "provides Dragon with greater and direct visibility among individuals with disability".

Derek Austin, Dragon business manager, Asia Pacific, Nuance, said: "Nuance has long been committed to helping those with disability improve their quality of life through the use of assistive technology.

"The NDIS approval of Dragon reaffirms our continued commitment to providing assistive technology and allows us to leverage our existing work in this field to increase awareness of the benefits of the solution among people with disability."

For those needing a brief refresher course, Nuance’s Dragon is "a voice recognition software that allows individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, low vision, multiple sclerosis, and mobility or dexterity impediments turn thoughts into written words simply by speaking".

Thus, Dragon converts spoken words into text to help users write.

Because of this, it lets individuals "focus on the content of their documents rather than on typing and spelling. For instance, dyslexic individuals face writing, spelling and typing challenges. Dragon removes the frustration of having to type and spell because it only requires them to speak for words to appear on the screen".

The software "also assists those who cannot use their hands because it is a hands-free solution. Whether people are suffering from carpal tunnel, arthritis, wrist tendonitis or other mobility issues, Dragon lets them create reports, correspondence, and spreadsheets through voice and without the need to use a keyboard or a mouse".

All this means that Dragon’s powerful voice recognition capability also lets those with an injury or a disability easily command a computer. Just by speaking, they can create and send emails, surf the Web, and control popular desktop and Web applications.

Of course, people with disabilities have been using various types of software to assist them to use technology for years, with even the button-free glass surface of modern smartphones able to be used by people without sight, thanks to the incredible efforts of smartphone and tablet makers, but when it comes to your physical PC or Mac, Dragon has been one of the most popular ways to talk and see text being typed.

So, as part of its continued commitment to the sector, Nuance has announced a special and dedicated Dragon solution for PCs and Macs called "Dragon Accessibility."

Austin added: "We are really pleased to be able to offer a tailored and high quality communication solution such as Dragon Accessibility because we know that Dragon can make a difference to the lives of people with disability."

If you quality for access via the NDIS, Nuance says Dragon Accessibility "will be available from October through Nuance’s Dragon Partners and Accessibility Specialists".

Nuance is also taking part in a number of conferences throughout Australia during October, including the NDS South Australia Conference 2017 on 19 October, to highlight the benefits of Dragon.

"Ideally, the NDIS will bring greater diversity and competition to the sector, but most importantly, it will let people with disability exercise choice and control over the tools they wish to use to support their needs and hopefully, improve their lives," said Austin.

So, there you go. Speak, and ye shall find your words flown by Dragon right onto your screen, as well as being able to control your computer, open programs and do more, simply by speaking, with this capability available to every Dragon user, with or without a disability.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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