[Athen] Upcoming changes to Dragon NS

Doug Mantle Doug.Mantle at kings.uwo.ca
Tue Dec 8 15:07:17 PST 2020

Thank you Wink for your post. Thank you Cassandra for yours as well.

As the Founder of The Network of Assistive Technologists (N.O.A.T.) I can confirm that the webinar session this Friday, December 11th that is being hosted by N.O.A.T. will indeed communicate and explore the information shared on the RESNA list.

N.O.A.T. has been in communications with Nuance for a while now regarding this situation, expressing many of the same concerns of the RESNA membership. As a representative of our membership, and in general, the wider AT community, I met with seven executives from Nuance on November 19th. Their response echoes what RESNA has posted from their recent meeting. The N.O.A.T. meeting and continued conversations have led to the webinar we are hosting this coming Friday.

All N.O.A.T. members, and members of multiple other discussion lists, ATHEN and RESNA included, have received an invitation to the meeting. Details can be found on the N.O.A.T. Events website<events.NOAT.ca/upcoming/the-future-of-dragon-as-at>, along with a registration link. Please note, our live attendance is capped at 100. If you are unable to attend, or space fills up prior to your registering, a recording is expected to be posted afterwards.

Please consider joining us and hearing directly from Nuance executives as to the future of Dragon. As we will hear their plans, they are indeed very much interested in our feedback, both on the product roadmap and our experiences – good and bad – as Assistive Technologists and users.


Doug Mantle

www.NOAT.ca<http://www.NOAT.ca> | info at NOAT.ca

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Cassandra Tex
Sent: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 4:48 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Upcoming changes to Dragon NS

Hi All,
Regarding the Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking conversation. Though I am not a certified ATP, non-ATP’s can join the RESNA listserv. I received this today from the RESNA listserv…

Hope the it’s the same information that is shared on Dec. 11

From: RESNA's Assistive Technology Forum <AT-FORUM at LIST.RESNA.ORG<mailto:AT-FORUM at LIST.RESNA.ORG>> On Behalf Of Raymond Grott
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2020 1:35 PM
Subject: UPDATE on Dragon software product line and opportunity for input

Dear AT Forum and RESNA Connect members:
The draft letter to Nuance regarding possible changes to the Dragon product line that we posted to this group has resulted in some positive discussions. Alan Cantor, Jane Berliss-Vincent, and Ray Grott met yesterday with the General Manager for the Dragon Professional and Consumer Business and a Senior Product Manager who reports to him. Here are a few key take-aways:

Despite whatever confusion may have been generated in communication with their vendors, Nuance is fully committed to maintaining and continuing their “desktop” products for the non-medical market (Dragon Home, Dragon Professional Individual, and Dragon Professional Group).

They are also rolling out their cloud-based Dragon Professional Anywhere solution, which will help them meet the needs of those enterprise accounts that are looking for a solution that is easier to deploy across a large organization and that takes up fewer desktop computing resources—albeit without command and control features that are only available on a local installation.

Because of development and other costs, they will be increasing the retail price of Dragon Home, from $150 to $200 USD, and DPI from $300 to $500. Dragon Professional Anywhere will be priced at $40/mo on a subscription-only basis for individual users. (We didn’t discuss the pricing for site licenses and enterprise users, as that is not of interest to us. However, we did learned that educational institutions qualify for academic discounts on DPG.)

Nuance is not only committed to providing solutions that enhance accessibility and usability, they also maintain a desire to keep their product within reach of those who need this tool as an accommodation for physical and cognitive needs. They acknowledge our concern that these users often have limited income and are proposing a pricing structure where the current $240 pricing for the Academic version will be extended to this broader group of users. It is likely that this will be managed through their reseller networks. Note that this is not in place yet.

They expressed a serious desire to hear about and address software bugs and usability problems. We shared a few choice ones with them and encouraged them to establish a better pipeline for receiving this input. We also stressed the need for them to hire users with disabilities to test new releases for issues, as they may often do so in ways that a programmer conducting a feature run through would not.

Finally, all parties are keen on connecting Nuance’s project management team with RESNA members and other Dragon users and AT specialists to discuss product features and possible enhancements. We told them that the RESNA leadership would be happy to facilitate a virtual meeting for this purpose and we will be sharing contact information between them. You will be hearing more about this in the near future.

Alan, Jane, and Ray

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of foreigntype at gmail.com<mailto:foreigntype at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2020 12:22 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Upcoming changes to Dragon NS

A drastic change has been announced regarding the future of Dragon NS as assistive technology in the near future. NOAT technology association is sponsoring a webinar with Nuance execs coming up soon to discuss the impact Nuance's proposed changes will have for the product and its availability.
The upshot is that Nuance has announced they're moving away from a stand-alone individual license for laptops/desktops and only offering the cloud-based subscription version of Dragon Anywhere.
MHO is that this does not serve the disabled community or the community with spotty, unreliable, or non-existent internet/wifi access and I've written in as part of a national petition of DSS service providers to demand (request strongly) that Nuance continue to offer downloadable single user laptop or desktop options.
If you and/or your colleagues want to learn more about this and want to have the chance to speak up to Nuance directly, please join in on this webinar:
FROM NOAT: The Future of Dragon as Assistive Technology
Recently Dragon has been in the AT News, rumoured to be making substantial changes to their products and pricing. If implemented, these changes would have an immense negative impact on those we support.
Join The Network of Assistive Technologists as we welcome Jamey Klein, Account Executive, Dragon Enterprise Sales, Mike Millward, Senior Dragon Product Manager, and Ed McGuiggan, General Manager of the Dragon Professional & Consumer business.
Jamey, Mike, and Ed will be addressing these recent rumours, discussing our concerns, as well as reviewing the Dragon product roadmap and collecting overall feedback to help shape the future of Dragon.
All members of the Assistive Technology Professionals community are invited to join us on Friday, December 11, 2020 at 1:30pm Eastern.
For full details and to register, please visit the N.O.A.T. Events Site.
We look forward to seeing you online Friday, December 11, 2020 at 1:30pm Eastern

Wink Harner
Accessibility Consultant/Alternative Text Production
The Foreign Type
Portland OR
foreigntype at gmail.com<mailto:foreigntype at gmail.com>
This email was dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Please forgive quirks, misrecognitions, or errata .

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