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Voice Recognition Software

​Voice recognition software converts spoken words into written text. The speaker either wears or holds a microphone and speaks into the computer. The software then converts what is said into text in a word processing document. Most dictation systems require a period of training to be able to recognize and convert the user’s speech. Ambient noise levels can negatively impact the ability of the software to recognize and convert the speech to text. Voice changes due to fatigue or illness may have the same results. Voice recognition software provides an alternative option for students unable to use standard methods for computer access to write more efficiently.

There are several voice recognition programs. The most commonly used program is Dragon Naturally Speaking (Nuance Communications). Microsoft XP and Vista both have built-in voice recognition capabilities. MacSpeech Dictate (MacSpeech Inc) is recommended for Macintosh computers and is based on the Dragon Naturally Speaking engine. Windows Vista includes a feature called Windows Speech Recognition and has been considered a rival to Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred is generally the most recommended for Windows computers if more capability is needed over the Vista version.

Voice recognition technology is beneficial to students who have difficulty manipulating writing tools, with writing mechanics, and/or with the writing process.


 Resource Name

Web Address

Microsoft Word - Instructions on Voice Recognition



 Vendor Name

Web Address


(Dragon Naturally Speaking)

MacSpeech Inc.

(MacSpeech Dictate)