It seems that the speech and voice recognition industry has been explosive over the past few years, having completely transformed, for example, from something like a basic interactive voice response (IVR) system, - a once very uniform and often frustrating process – to a revolutionary new and constantly evolving experience. Many individuals have been profoundly impacted by the enhancements made to speech recognition technology and its many branches. Recently, Linda Beck stepped forth to make her own personal experience known after becoming disabled in a very unexpected and unheard of way, as first told by salisburypost.com.
One day, Beck found that a leaf on her rhododendron bush was turning brown with yellow spots. Concerned over the status of her bush, she went to pull the leaf off to bring to someone who knew more about plants than her (perhaps it was a plant disease, she thought).
As Beck herself admits, “curiosity kills the cat.” Beck then explains what happened next, “After several attempts to pull the leaf off, I held the limb with my left hand and twisted and pulled the leaf again with my right thumb and index finger. Pain shot through my thumb and ran out to the end of my trigger finger. The thumb continued to move but the finger went stiff and I can only bend it by using the other hand…After visits to my family physician, a surgeon and my neurologist, my finger still will not bend. After having an MRI and a nerve conduction study, there is still no diagnosis. Neither of these doctors has ever seen an injury quite like this.”
This odd, unexplainable injury surprisingly left Beck seriously impaired. Not only did she have to re-learn how to write using only three fingers and a thumb, but typing went from an everyday activity to something which now made her cringe. Even picking up items – something we all take for granted – was now extremely difficult for Beck, who could no longer fix her grasp and would immediately drop anything she reached for using her thumb and index finger.
One day, Beck was invited to go to an Assistive Technology Service after happening to talk to someone who knew about the North Carolina Assistive Technology program. Assistive Technology (AT) is a technology which aids disabled individuals in making everyday living significantly easier, enabling these people to live a less dependent, free lifestyle.
Above, Linda Beck learns about speech recognition software.
While there, she was told that her voice was very clear and that she pronounced words distinctly, thus making her an ideal candidate for speech recognition technology.
Beck elaborates on her experience using the new technology, “I found it interesting to read the first page of the story using a conversational tone; it printed out with no errors. On the second page, [I was asked] to say things like ‘tab, comma, exclamation point, and periods.’”
She also had to open and close the program by saying, “Wake up,” and “Go to sleep.”
“In spite of the aggravation of the injured finger, I was blessed once again to meet someone with a good job who looks forward to going to work with the purpose of helping people like me,” Beck concluded.
It’s always refreshing to hear a new story on how voice and speech recognition technology is advancing the lives of those who were temporarily set back!
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli