If you are a screen reader user and want to use speech-recognition, then you will be asked to use bridging technology. As of this writing, there are two options you have.
- J-Say wwith Dragon Naturally Speaking
- System Access with Windows speech-recobnition.
This post is not about which technology is better. One question that is asked often is can you use speech-recognition without bridging technology? The answer is yes you can but there are things that bridging technology helps you to do. You need to decide if these things matter to you. Most of my experience has been with J-Say so the below points relate to that technology.
- Reading the training text
- This is true of DNS version 8 and I suspect this has not changed for Dragon version 12.5. Training the text was very difficult. The difficulty was in knowing what text to speak next. I had to use the jaws color reporting feature accessed via jaws key + 5 to check the color of the text.
- Screen reader control
- Bridging technology gives you screen reader control so you can use your voice to do screen reading tasks. I have found that tasks such as commanding the computer to speak the contents of a dialog box, line or paragraph work nicely but scrolling and editing text is better done by the keyboard.
- Checking the status of the microphone
- When using speech-recognition, it is crucial to know if the microphone is off or on. Bridging technology like J-Say may give you an easier way of determining this.
There are advantages to not using any bridging technology. The main advantage is that you are not tied to any screen reader or other product so can update as soon as updates are released. You do get third party programs such as knowbrainer which give you commands that make formatting easier but these products are not particularly screen reader compatible. For example, knowbrainer works by pressing keys to execute various commands. That gets noisy quickly when using a screen reader. The other advantage is cost. It is significantly cheaper to just buy Dragon Naturally Speaking and Windows speech recognition is built into windows.