As the disability inclusion movement gathers momentum in the modern workplace, it’s down to HR leaders to ensure roles in their organisations are accessible—and give every employee what they need to perform at their best. Find out how speech recognition is helping to address this challenge and meet employees’ accessibility needs.
During the pandemic, the working day changed for almost everyone. The disruption prompted more discussions around employees’ needs and expectations for their employers, and it’s encouraged many employees to speak to their unique accessibility needs and talk more openly about their workplace requirements.
This is only further supported by the increased media exposure around accessibility, alongside growing numbers of celebrities sharing their disabilities and raising awareness of specific accessibility needs—such as TV hosts like Alex Brooker and Paralympic athletes such as Ellie Simmonds.
There’s still a long way to go before the majority of workplaces are considered inclusive—only around half of working-age disabled people are currently in employment. But there are growing opportunities to support your employees and ensure they have all they need to work at their best.
Speech recognition helps HR leaders make roles more accessible
Enterprise-grade speech recognition is already in use across dozens of sectors—from legal to public services—to help employees become more productive and efficient. And now, many HR leaders are starting to recognise how useful the technology can be from an accessibility perspective.
Speech recognition tools can make core tasks more achievable for employees who have previously struggled using traditional desk setups—whether it’s due to cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia and Alzheimer’s, or physical disabilities such as dyspraxia or repetitive strain injury.
In a many cases, speech recognition solutions can help employees feel more comfortable and confident in their roles, reducing some of the anxiety associated with completing tasks slowly, misspelling things, or feeling like they’re not performing at the same level as their colleagues.
How Dragon helps improve accessibility
Nuance Dragon solutions build on the general accessibility benefits of speech recognition, providing additional features for users with specific accessibility needs.
- Fast, accurate, document creation, without a keyboard.
Dragon solutions empower professionals to dictate notes and complete documentation without using a keyboard. The next-generation speech engine at their heart provides up to 99% accuracy, and helps users to work three times faster than the average person can type.
- Speech-driven desktop navigation removes the need for clicking.
Some motor disabilities can make clicking and dragging with a mouse difficult, painful, or even impossible for a lot of employees. But by using Dragon, employees can navigate their desktops—and the applications they use every day—using speech, without exacerbating any pain.
Dragon’s voice-based navigation capabilities also make it easier to navigate traditionally tricky document formats like spreadsheets, allowing users to effortlessly switch between cells and fields.
- Intuitive custom commands speed up tasks.
Repetitive tasks can be tiring and significantly slow down the pace of work, causing unnecessary frustration.
Dragon offers the ability to create helpful, customisable commands that address this challenge. Using these voice-based commands, employees can quickly paste large pre-written blocks of text—which is invaluable for those in roles such as customer service, where customers will often have similar challenges. Similarly, custom commands can launch a series of applications or actions together in a sequence to save time throughout the day, such as setting up a diary booking or launching the applications needed to begin a meeting.
Customisable features like these are particularly helpful for employees who struggle to express ideas, or frequently experience blank-page anxiety, as they remove some of the additional steps required to start working.
- Hands-free working frees employees from their desks.
Roles that involve employees sitting at their desks for long periods of time can be particularly restricting for people with musculoskeletal conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or hyposensitive employees who need frequent stimulation from their surroundings.
Dragon can free employees these from their desks, allowing them to move around their workspace while they dictate and create.
Introducing Dragon Professional v16—the most accessible Dragon yet
Dragon Professional v16 is the latest version of our solution for professionals who want or need their Dragon software to be locally installed. It has the deepest accessibility features of any Dragon to date, including the most extensive command and control capabilities, and the ability to use a mouse grid on multiple monitors.
Start making your roles more accessible today
Every employee’s requirements in the workplace are different, and one accessibility tool won’t meet all their needs. But by introducing tools like Dragon, you can open up more opportunities within your workplace and ensure your employees feel supported in their roles.