[Athen] portable DNS?

Roll,Marla mcroll at CAHS.Colostate.edu
Fri Feb 6 12:45:28 PST 2009

We have had good success installing dragon on a server and teaching students to save their voice files to the server so they can access them from any machine where we have placed dragon.... It has saved students and our office from the hassle of moving and updating voice files on different machines. We have done the laptop option as well and it suffices in most cases too.

Marla Roll

Marla C. Roll, MS, OTR
Director, Assistive Technology Resource Center
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Occupational Therapy
304 Occupational Therapy Building
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523 - 1586
970-491-6290 (fax)
mcroll at cahs.colostate.edu

From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Shelley Haven
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 1:06 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] portable DNS?

Hi, Susan!

One can transport their voice profile on a (large capacity) USB drive, but as Nettie points out, the wrench in the works is needing to have a Dragon NaturallySpeaking license on each computer that he would use. We tried this at Stanford -- a two-year collaboration between the Office of Accessible Education and the Academic Computing department to integrate the AT in our accessible lab with all 400+ public student computers on campus (both Macs and PCs). We were successful with virtually everything except for Dragon. Most AT software either had network versions (e.g., JAWS, Kurzweil) or could by "keyserved" (e.g., Inspiration) so that a limited number of licenses could support several hundred workstations (only that limited number can be in use at any one time). Though a student's voice profile can be accessed on multiple machines from a central server, Nuance requires that a full license of Dragon be purchased for each machine, so we could only support the dozen or so machines in our lab and elsewhere.

The options as I see it:
- Install Dragon on whatever machines the student anticipates using, and access the voice profile from a central server or from the USB (the latter is extra work for the student, though, to keep the profile current)
- Consider using the speech recognition capabilities built into Windows and transport that voice profile on a USB drive (don't actually know how feasible this is, but it's worth considering if he doesn't need the extra benefits of Dragon)
- Loan the student a copy of Dragon for use on his personal laptop. In today's nomadic computing environment where the vast majority of students have their own laptop, this might make the most sense overall.

Hope this helps.

- Shelley

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant
Sunnyvale, CA

Hi Susan,

I think it is a great idea but not one that will catch on for the following reasons (as starters).
Another thought on the feasiblity of this option is that all computers at this time, require a voice profile be established for the user which might require a lot of time - and, the various gray noises are also consideratins for each systme as well as hardware issues -
Take into consideration the need to purchase a site license for each 'computer,' I think the cost factor in dollars as well as time time might be cost prohibitive.

I think I would look at the operating systems on the new little computers with Windows XP and see if they have enough ram to support the software - that way, it can fit neatly in a backpack and only require 1 program purchase, 1 microphone and generally speaking, I voice and vocabulary profile.

Nettie's thoughts
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 10:53 AM, Kelmer, Susan M. <SKelmer at stlcc.edu<mailto:SKelmer at stlcc.edu>> wrote:

Oh my great and powerful colleaguesŠI need to pick your brains.

I had a potential student stop by to ask about accommodations, as he is thinking about signing up for classes. His presenting difficulties are with writing, and he had done his research, and asked about DNS and Inspiration. Good on him. He asked if there was a portable version of DNS, one that could be carried on a USB device that he could take to different places he might need to be using a computer.

What a great idea. But preliminary research shows me there is really nothing out there. Has anyone heard of anything or have any amazing ideas how we might be able to make something work for this guy?

Susan Kelmer
Adaptive Technology Specialist/
Lab Coordinator, Campus Labs and Classrooms
St. Louis Community College - Meramec

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Nettie T. Fischer, ATP
Assistive Technology Practitioner
nettiet, ATP Consultants
[916] 704-1456

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