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Meet DictationBridge: Hands-free Typing Sponsored by LightHouse for the Blind

Speech recognition and screen readers are both valuable tools for the blindness community, but what about technology that combines the two? Unfortunately, the current options are few, sometimes unstable and often expensive.

image of microphone with headphones on itThat’s why, when a group of notable blind technologists and power-users from around the country brought the idea for DictationBridge, to LightHouse Labs, our organization knew we had to help. The investment in DictationBridge, which represents the LightHouse’s expanding capability to invest in projects meaningful to the blindness community, will help ensure that the software is released into to the universe free-of-charge.

“We on the DictationBridge team are proud to have the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually-Impaired on our team,” says Lucy Greco, assistive tech expert and spokesperson for DictationBridge, “We hope this is a first in what will become a series of projects like this moving into the future.”

As the highest level sponsor in DictationBridge’s Indiegogo campaign, which met its funding goal this week, the LightHouse is proud to help bring free hands-free typing to blind folks all around the world. If you’re still a little unclear about what DictationBridge actually does, DB’s website invites you to imagine a scenario:

“James is a blind entrepreneur but injures his hand and is unable to type. He knows he has to continue working. He has heard of speech-recognition and decides to try it. He has a little bit of vision so he uses ZoomText for magnification and speech. In the current scenario, he does not have a solution. DictationBridge is going to be a generic solution which will talk to ZoomText and WSR [Windows Screen Reader] or Dragon. Once James recovers, he may continue to use speech-recognition for productivity or he can resume a keyboard only way of working.”

That’s what we want for our community: to be able to keep working.

“The overwhelming majority of blind people worldwide cannot afford expensive and unstable solutions when they need to use dictation and a screen reader,” CEO Bryan Bashin said last week, “The Lighthouse believes it has a moral obligation to support the access needs of blind and visually-impaired people wherever they live. We applaud the creativity of the DictationBridge team to address this need and are happy to be part of their success.”

Happy typing, and check back for updates on DictationBridge’s public release.