Nuance Announces Winners of Third Annual “I Speak Dragon!” Story Contest
Hundreds of People Share Their Success Stories; Winning Entries Submitted by Lawyer, Public School Teacher, Forensic Psychologist, Alternate Media Specialist, and Loving Dad Detail Life-Changing Experience of Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking
BURLINGTON, MA — Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN), a leading supplier of speech and imaging solutions, today announced the winners of its “I Speak Dragon!” contest, which encouraged users of Nuance’s Dragon ® NaturallySpeaking® software to come forward and share their unique, interesting, and compelling experiences with the world’s most popular speech recognition solution. The third annual contest invited people to submit their individual stories about how Dragon has enhanced their lives in five categories: personally, professionally, educationally, socially, and legally.
A testament to Dragon’s large consumer base and the impact that it has on those who use it, the contest received a record-breaking number of responses, with over 850 people submitting their stories. People from all walks of life, including students, authors, teachers, artists, grandparents, doctors, lawyers, and pastors – among many others – submitted incredible stories of improved productivity, creativity, and innovation made possible by Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Five winning entries were selected by a panel of judges from the hundreds of exceptional stories received across all five different categories, and Nuance is pleased to announce the following winners:
I Speak Dragon Educationally
Mike Fejes has been a public school reading and writing teacher for 14 years and is a firm believer in the idea that practice makes perfect. For this reason, he assigns many writing projects to his students each year, and although this is a great way for his students to improve their writing skills, it also generates a lot of paperwork that requires his feedback.
In the past, Fejes had to settle on marking student papers with a few short comments in the margins. This was the only way he could feasibly get through each student’s assignment in a reasonable timeframe, but he knew that his cursory responses were not thorough enough for the students to gain much from them. Additionally, he began having trouble recording all of the manually-typed notes he made in order to track his students’ performance and improvement over the course of the school year.
One day when Fejes was discussing his concerns on this topic with another teacher, his colleague mentioned the possibility of using speech recognition software to speed and improve the process. Fejes decided to give it a shot and purchased a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, becoming instantly attached to the software. He writes, “It was incredible to be able to bypass my awkward typing skills and to be able to create such lengthy documents in a fraction of the time it would normally take.”
Fejes feels that the software has benefited his teaching tremendously. He is now able to assign his students more work than he ever has before, without being concerned about having enough time to correct it all. He is now able to make ten times the number of comments that he was able to make previously, and he does so with a more personalized tone of voice that is evident to the students. “The comments sound friendlier…they sound like a conversation that you would have with a friend rather than a teacher’s observations” he writes.
Another benefit was a more thorough investigation of the work itself; with the daunting task of typing removed from the process, Fejes was now able to focus in on specific quotes that would have been too long to write out manually. Finally, Fejes is now able to file all of the comments made throughout the school year together and have them readily accessible to refer back to in order to track progress.
“I can’t say enough about what Naturally Speaking has done for my teaching, and I can say with certainty that this program will be an important part of my teaching for years to come.”
I Speak Dragon Personally
Twenty years ago, at the age of twenty-five, Bob Bieber was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He soon familiarized himself with the internet, chat rooms, and news groups, seeking information and relief from his chronic pain, and connected with many people globally who were suffering the same plight. As the disease progressed, however, Bieber found himself growing less capable of using the mouse and keyboard, until typing became so difficult and painful that it was nearly impossible. He sought solutions and tried several speech recognition applications, but found that most were unimpressive. His wife saw a commercial for Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and ordered a copy for her husband. “Because of my previous experiences I was skeptical,” says Bieber, “so I smiled, thanked her, installed it on my computer….and forgot about it.”
It wasn’t until a few years later that Bieber was reunited with the unused software, and for a very special reason. Bieber was diagnosed with cancer and given a bleak prognosis, and so he set out to capture all of the things he wanted to say to his 12-year-old daughter before losing his ability to communicate, as doctors anticipated would happen.
“I tried making videos for her to watch on those special days that I was going to miss,” he explains, “her 16th birthday, high school graduation, her first date, her wedding day, etc. but between all of the pauses, mistakes, and times that I got too choked up to talk... it just wasn’t working. Then I remembered Dragon NaturallySpeaking.”
Bieber decided to give Dragon a try and just speak to her from his heart. Over time, Bieber has grown into the habit of dictating letters to his family and friends each night when everyone is asleep, offering advice, guidance and stories. He writes, “I am grateful that I can ‘Speak Dragon’ today because it allows me to say the things I may not be around to say tomorrow.”
I Speak Dragon Socially
Ronald W. Banks, a licensed psychologist in a private practice, has been a Dragon NaturallySpeaking user for approximately three years, after purchasing the software to facilitate his mobile forensic psychological assessments in the field. Banks’ job requires him to administer weekly psychological exams at various locations including juvenile justice facilities and foster homes, subsequently turning over his evaluations to the court system to determine the appropriate therapy or treatment services for the children at issue. “It is critical that I have timely submission of the evaluations,” he explains, “so that the children do not languish in the court system longer than needed.”
Banks notes that Dragon NaturallySpeaking has been a tremendous aid to his work, increasing efficiency and more importantly, report turnaround time. Using a laptop, Banks is able to administer the tests and score the results directly on his computer. He then dictates reports based on the findings into a digital voice recorder. Finally, he links the recorder up to his laptop and Dragon transcribes the whole thing. “A report can be completed and emailed to the court within minutes” he writes – which is a huge improvement over the 10+ hours it was taking prior to purchasing the software. The software is beneficial to Ronald, but even more so to the children caught in the system and awaiting help.
I Speak Dragon Professionally
Shirley Bowman works as the Alternate Media Specialist at Santa Ana Community College in California, making education accessible to everyone by providing disabled students with alternative forms of media. This means, for instance, creating text in Braille for blind students or transcribing audio files for the hearing impaired.
While Bowman has enjoyed the rewarding nature of her job for several years, she admits that aspects of it have been quite challenging. “I’m a lousy typist,” says Bowman. “I might have to transcribe a note taker’s notes or an instructor’s test to be converted into Braille…I may need to transcribe a two hour movie in order to add captions for a deaf student.”
Bowman says that she now depends on Dragon NaturallySpeaking because it makes her life much easier, but writes that those truly benefitting from the software are the students. Dragon’s speech-to-text engine allows Bowman to quickly transcribe all of the necessary materials that the students need in order to receive the best education.
I Speak Dragon Legally
It all began one January afternoon, when Judy Chorlog took a break from the day’s arbitration to head out for lunch. While walking to her car, the labor and employment lawyer, who was busy reviewing the morning’s testimony with her client and planning strategies for the afternoon, slipped and broke her right wrist in an attempt to break her fall. “On the way down, it wasn’t my life that passed before my eyes,” Chorlog writes, “but my schedule for the next few weeks. Not only did I have to finish that day’s arbitration, but I had a major brief due for a very large client.” Upon returning to the arbitration, Chorlog realized that she could no longer hold a pen or use her laptop, and panicked, wondering how she would be able to complete everything on her to-do list by their encroaching deadlines.
Another attorney in the office who used Dragon NaturallySpeaking suggested that Chorlog try it out. “I started to use it immediately with relatively few errors and few problems with voice recognition. I was able to dictate my brief and compete it on time!” As a result of the software, she notes that she never missed a single day of work despite her broken wrist, and encountered other benefits of the software along the way. Dictating notes into the software saved Chorlog a lot of time that she would have otherwise wasted keying notes into a computer, and the wireless headset allowed her to move about while generating documents, allowing her to multitask as she could pull files and books from the shelf simultaneously. Even though her hand has since healed, Chorlog notes that she will continue to speak Dragon.
The above winners will each receive an Amazon Kindle 2 eBook reader as well as Dragon NaturallySpeaking upgrades for three years.
To read other compelling contest entries that demonstrate some of the unique ways that people everywhere are using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, please visit: http://ispeakdragon.nuance.com/.
About Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance is the world’s best-selling speech recognition software and is used by millions of people to create documents and emails up to three times faster than typing, to search the Web, and to control their PCs entirely by voice. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 delivers what matters most in speech recognition – the highest levels of accuracy, seamless integration into many popular PC applications, and unrivalled ease of use. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 converts speech into text at up to 160 words-per-minute with up to 99 percent accuracy, making it twice as fast as the previous release. Dragon 10 complete with Voice Shortcut commands and Quick Voice Formatting commands for a faster-than-ever experience. It is also available in a special edition Bluetooth bundle, for a completely untethered experience. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com/naturallyspeaking.
Nuance Communications, Inc.
Nuance is a leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit: www.nuance.com.
Nuance and the Nuance logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States of America and/or other countries. All other company names or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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