Controlling a computer, tablet or smartphone with your voice

An overview of how you can control computers, tablets and smartphones with your voice. Communication technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace and using voice recognition software to dictate to and control your computer has now become an increasingly attractive and practical proposition for many different users. For some disabled people who might struggle, or find it impossible, to work with a mouse or keyboard, speech recognition opens up a world of productive possibilities. The same goes for many people with dyslexia who would otherwise find it very difficult, and much more time consuming, to communicate clearly and professionally using the written word.

For employees generally, voice recognition opens up many possible new ways of working; helping to reduce, for example, the risk of repetitive strain injury and also making mobile working far easier and more efficient. Voice control is now built into every mainstream computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone.

For employers, investing in voice control can be a very reasonable adjustment, in preventing discrimination against, and maximising the productivity of, disabled staff. Although the technology is now widely available, different options for speech recognition do require careful consideration for all sorts of practical reasons. Most staff will also require additional training and support to best use of it. Section 9 gives details of the services that AbilityNet provides to assist businesses, charities and individuals with identifying and realising the best possible solution for their particular situation and needs. Links to other helpful resources are given in Section 10.

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