Hey, listen up. You may have heard of voice recognition software. The software is not quite up to Star Trek standards yet, but it can recognize ninety-plus percent of what you tell it at a normal conversational pace.
Most people can take or leave voice recognition software given its current capabilities. But it turns out that those with dyslexia can enormously benefit. Dyslexia makes it difficult to read and write words correctly. The voice recognition technology allows dyslexics to get a report or letter done cleaner and faster.
And seeing the words appear on the screen as they are spoken actually helps improve reading and writing ability over time. Marshall Raskind, a learning disabilities researcher in Pasadena, says that children often show improvement in decoding skills after just ten hours or so working with the software.
Isn’t the free market great? Not only can something like this be invented to begin with, but it can also be distributed, sold, funded and continually improved. And the people who need the help most have a chance to get it without paying millions of dollars.
So what’s the problem, according to some critics? Raskind says he has discovered that “many people view assistive technologies in general as a crutch, a way of avoiding a problem. It’s weird,” says Raskind. “It’s like seeing someone with a white cane and saying, ‘Rip that cane out of their hands and let them do it themselves.'”
Thank goodness folks with dyslexia are now able to show how well they can think, even if they have a little trouble decoding written symbols. Their critics should try it . . . thinking, that is.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.