An embarrassing moment with Dragon

On December 5th I published a post called “What Is Job Access”. In that post I described how I received funding for the purchase of a 42 inch computer monitor, EyeTech software and Dragon voice activated software. This combination of hardware and software has been invaluable in connecting me to the Internet, Skype and emails and allowing me to get back to productive work.

Another important component of the Job Access funding was the inclusion of several sessions of training for the Dragon software. James Sing from VoiceX was the trainer and an outstanding trainer he is. He is clear in his explanations and the training he does is perfectly paced. However, there was one issue with the first training session.

The OT (Occupational Therapist) had brought James along and introduced him to me and then, once we got started in the training, excused himself and said he would return later to see how we were going. The session had been progressing quite well. We arrived at the point where James was demonstrating how to train Dragon to get the spelling right on the word that could be spelt in several different ways.

For instance, the first name “Catherine” can be spelt in numerous ways. So, to train Dragon to spell the word “Catherine” correctly each time you say the word “Catherine” and if you don’t get the spelling you want you tell Dragon to “spell that”. With that, Dragon will give you 5 or 6 different spellings to choose from. You choose the one you want and then using your voice you click on train and teach Dragon so that when you say the word “Catherine” the correct spelling pops up each and every time. How good is that!

As an example James had me say the word “VoiceX”, knowing that it would be hard for Dragon to get that right. And that was certainly the case! When I said “VoiceX” Dragon spelt it as “boys sex”. When I said “spell that” it gave me five different versions of “boys sex”.

As it turned out, at that very moment, as I had five versions of “boys sex” displayed in large print on a 42” screen, who should walk in but the OT? For a few excruciating seconds, the three of us stared at the screen, dumbstruck. The OT startled. James and I caught, not knowing what to say. To rush to a quick explanation would have seemed like we were trying to cover something up. Any explanation was not necessary but it seemed equally odd to proceed without saying something.

While we hesitated, deciding what to say, the OT said something about a phone call he had to make and disappeared out of the room. James and I smiled and continued the training session. Ten minutes later we heard the OT approaching my room again.

In the 10 minutes that he was away he seemed to have developed a rather loud and persisted cough. He enquired about how the training was going, without reference to any particular aspect of it. I, in return, remarked how good it was without remarking on any particular aspect either.

In the following weeks and months I gave many visitors a demonstration of my prowess with Dragon. Guess what? Not once did I show them how to spell “VoiceX” correctly!


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