Speech Recognition for Job Accommodation: Is it ready for Prime Time?

Paul Schwartz

While speech recognition for computer access has been available for over 15 years, early adopters of this technology have been disappointed in the results. How much has it improved? Is it ready to hit the mainstream of the marketplace? What makes a successful user of this technology? How fast can you really type? Does it work for mouse emulation or web access? This session will give a brief overview of the current state of the science of speech recognition, factors that influence success or failure of a system, and strategies to ensure successful job accommodations with respect to speech recognition will be reviewed. Current products will also be reviewed and a demonstration of the latest technology will be conducted.

Paul Schwartz, M.S., ATP, CPE is a Rehabilitation Engineer and the Technology Services Coordinator for the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI) at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) and a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE). He provides complete job site accommodation, computer access and ergonomics services to industry, state agencies, educational systems, insurance companies and individuals. Paul has assessed and setup several hundred clients that required speech recognition as an interface. In addition, he has taught graduate level courses on ergonomics, assistive technology and computer applications in rehabilitation. He has also trained assistive technology professionals nationwide. Mr. Schwartz is also a frequent presenter and faculty at Closing the Gap, CSUN and RESNA. Mr. Schwartz is the past chair of RESNA’s Special Interest Group in Job Accommodations and Employment Issues and is a current member of RESNA’s Professional Standards Board.

Presentation abstract from the 'Workplace Accommodations: State of the Science' conference
September 15-16, 2005, Altanta, GA