DictationBridge is coming for free to users of NVDA, JAWS and Window-Eyes and it’s coming soon. For a quick look at DictationBridge, listen to this audio demo.
When DictationBridge 1.0 is released it will:
- Be compatible with NVDA, JAWS and Window-Eyes.
- provide screen reader users with access to the built-in MS Windows dictation facility as well as with a number of different versions of the Dragon software packages from Nuance.
- be distributed for free with 100% of its source code included.
- be fully documented and will come complete with all of the documentation any user may want.
- have professional technical support available to users who choose to purchase such.
The DictationBridge Team
DictationBridge is being managed, written, documented, tested and will be distributed by a coalition made up of 3 Mouse Technology (3MT), Serotek and a number of independent technologists working to bring a free dictation solution to all blind users of Windows based computers employing the three most popular screen readers. A large portion of the DictationBridge code already exists as part of the SystemAccess screen reader and Matt Campbell, author of SystemAccess and all of the other software from Serotek, is the lead developer on DictationBridge. If you are interested in getting a feel for how DictationBridge will work with the Microsoft Windows dictation features, you might give SystemAccess To Go a try as DB will be using most of the code that Matt wrote for that screen reader.
In addition to Matt Campbell, the DictationBridge team includes a lot of names one may know from around the world of accessibility and hands free computing. We’re proud to have Lucy Greco, Erin Lauridsen, Pranav Lal, Sue Martin, Debra Kaplan, Bryan Smart, Amanda Rush and Jeff Bishop joining the 3MT and Serotek teams to deliver this exciting and very important bit of technology to the users who need it.
What Will DictationBridge Do?
DictationBridge will contain all of the features identified as actually meaningful to blind dictation users, a feature set based on extensive research into the actual usage habits of such individuals. It will support both MS Windows dictation and a number of different versions of Nuance’s Dragon products. It is a major goal of the DictationBridge team to deliver a solution that is as cost effective for end users as possible, if used with the built in Windows dictation system and the NVDA screen reader, end users will enjoy it at no cost to themselves at all. Different versions of Dragon provide users with different features and DictationBridge will support as many as is technically practical. Some advanced features may require users employ Dragon Professional but the DB team is committed to minimizing the number of features that will require users purchase this costly software and we all believe that most users will be happy with either the no cost Windows system or one of the versions of Dragon that are relatively inexpensive.
To achieve its goals, the DictationBridge team will soon be launching a crowdfunding campaign to pay the one time development costs required to bring this software to the general public.
3 Mouse Technology will be selling DictationBridge email technical support for $55 per year. Users will have a free dictation solution fully supported by professionals and will also have a community driven mailing list where users can help support each other at no cost at all.
The DictationBridge team believes that blind and otherwise disabled people should not need to pay a penny more than anyone else to use the same technology products. There are approximately 65 million blind people on the planet and DictationBridge will be available as free software to all of those who use a Windows based PC. As it supports the built in Windows dictation facility, users will not need to purchase an expensive Dragon Professional license. Users who want or need the power of Dragon Pro, however, will have a terrific solution available with all three popular Windows screen readers.
In the coming weeks, the DictationBridge team will be making a number of announcements about the project and will soon be launching the crowdfunding campaign. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any announcements, please subscribe to the DictationBridge mailing list by opening this link to the mailing list site or by sending a blank email [by using this link to open your mail program and hitting “send.”