Alex Learns Dragon and Passes It On

July 24, 2019

Alex is quite computer literate. However, due to physical issues in his right hand, he found he would need to “hunt and peck” with his right hand while using the mouse with his left hand.

Alex was looking for a solution that would make it easier for him to use his electronic devices. That is how he joined the Neil Squire Society’s Distance Computer Comfort Program, which offers free tutoring through a virtual classroom.

Distance Computer Comfort participant, AlexAlex began learning Dragon Professional (new window) through Gordon Watt, Distance Training Coordinator. Dragon is a speech recognition software, and it would give Alex the ability to dictate to his computer instead of having to type.

“I know my way around a computer, so I learned very quickly,” he says. “Dragon is a very useful software. I was able to use certain hashtags, symbols, and characters that usually would be meant for keyboards. I was surprised at all the things it was able to do!”

Before these lessons, Alex could type 35 words per minute. Now, he finds he can dictate close to 70 words per minute on a Dragon-enabled word processing software.

Alex’s new skill didn’t just help him – he soon passed it on to a Distance Computer Comfort participant who wanted to learn Dragon. He tutored the participant remotely using Zoom (new window) over a series of sessions. Although Alex hadn’t tutored anyone before this, the fact that he was computer savvy made it easy for him to map out each lesson.

He says about his tutoring experience, “It was satisfying, in that the participant was improving on how to use voice dictation and voice commands to open a browser, create tabs, and do all sorts of things with Dragon.”

Alex has continued his volunteer work, now at a meal delivery service for the elderly.

He says, “I think Neil Squire has been very helpful. I’m glad I went to you for assistance. It enlightened me on many aspects of being disabled and assisting others with disabilities.”