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Adaptive Instruction for Teacher Education: Inclusive Approaches, Resources and Technology
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Dragon Naturally Speaking


Technology Type: Communication


Voice recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking is used to address both physical and learning disabilities. The user speaks into a microphone and the words spoken are transformed into text and displayed on the screen by the software. Voice recognition may be used to dictate text into the computer or to give commands to the computer (such as opening application programs, pulling down menus, or saving work). Voice recognition uses a short training excercise to "learn" to recognize an individual's voice. As the student speaks, the voice recognition software remembers the way he or she says each word. This customization allows voice recognition software to address the fact that everyone speaks with varying accents and inflection.

Other features include:

  • Develop a custom vocabulary
  • Surf the web
  • Simplified training process for younger students or those with print disabilities

Dragon Naturally Speaking v. 8 is licenced by the Ontario Ministry of Education and is available to all students in Ontario. It is available on workstations in the OISE computer labs and the software also may be signed out from the Education Commons for educational/training purposes.


  • Students with physical disabilities, including challenges with manual dexterity problems, may use voice recognition to increase efficiency with the typing process.
  • Students with dyslexia or other learning disabilities may also use this tool to help them to organize their ideas “on the page.”
  • This software allows students to experience independence in expressing themselves and a feeling of achievement associated with this. 


View a short video presentation demonstrating the Dragon software.


A tutorials on use of Dragon Naturally Speaking is available from the Special Education Technology British Columbia Organization. Visit SET-BC Dragon Naturally Speaking Resources.

Also see the Dragon Naturally Speaking Quick Start.