Archive for the ‘Customer of the Week’ Category

This week we shine the spotlight on Duane French, our customer of the week! After an accident in 1968 left him a quadriplegic, Duane turned to Dragon NaturallySpeaking to help him communicate, reach his professional goals, and even meet the love of his life.

Years ago, Duane recalls that he still faced many challenges when trying to communicate because assistive technologies weren’t nearly as advanced as they are today; he even says he “charmed [his] way through college by asking young women to type [his] papers.” Becoming Director of the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation opened his eyes to a new product, though – Dragon NaturallySpeaking. From the start he was impressed with the program’s level of accuracy, which he says has come a long ways since he first used it in 1997. Today, Duane uses Dragon on both his work and home computers to help him oversee 350 employees and a $50 million budget as Director of the Washington State Division of Disability Determination Services. He says, “I feel helpless without Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It has been a transformational force in my life and has helped make the success I once dreamed of a reality.”

To read more about Duane’s story, you can find the full case study here. (*note: this link will default to open a pdf file of the case study)

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This week we shine the spotlight on Zach Osbrach, our customer of the week! Zach, who was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 40, used Dragon NaturallySpeaking to help him realize his dream of opening a charter school for children with dyslexia.

Having experienced it himself and struggling for years with his disability, Zach decided that there was a need for an alternative to the public school system where children with dyslexia didn’t necessarily always receive the specialized attention they required. That’s when he came up with the idea of opening a charter school in Florida, and that’s also where Dragon came in. He says, “All of my charter school applications, grants, and other written documentation have been dictated with Dragon. As a severely dyslexic person, I could not have been successful without Dragon. For people like me who have severe language processing disabilities in the area of phoneme awareness, Dragon NaturallySpeaking is essential.” Today, Zach has opened his third school and he’s now working to create a national model for educating dyslexic children.

Read more about Zach’s story here.

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This week we shine the spotlight on Nancy – our customer of the week! On June 22, 1997, Nancy Blose’s life literally turned upside down when her Jeep flipped five times and she was left with a broken neck. She recalls: “I was a 34-year-old mother of two, a wife, a sister, a daughter, now trapped in a broken body. I was dependent on others for all my daily requirements.” Then she discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking. “I desperately wanted control of my life,” she says, “and I found it with my voice and Dragon.”

Read more of Nancy’s story here (*defaults to open .pdf), and check out her winning “I Speak Dragon story” below:

Two events took place in 1997 which  significantly changed my life.  First,  I was  a restrained passenger involved in a catastrophic car accident which left me a quadriplegic. Second, Nuance introduced Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

On June 22, 1997 my life was turned upside down, literally, after my Jeep flipped 5 times resulting  with my broken neck.  Instantaneously  I became disabled  which translated as unable to walk, unable to feed myself, unable to hug my children, unable to return to work,  among  thousands of other activities  formally taken for granted.

I was a 34-year-old mother of two, a wife, a sister, a daughter trapped in a broken body.  My  existence no longer remotely resemble  that prior to June 22nd, now confined to bed or wheelchair and  dependent upon others for ALL my daily requirements.  I  desperately wanted some control of my life. I  found it with my voice and Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

One obvious lesson learned  from that fateful day was just how temporary life is. There is permanency with written words  and I had many thoughts that I wanted preserved. My first priority was  to write  letters to my children, then ages 6 and 8, to be opened on their 16th birthdays.   The letters were my  assurance in case of my early demise to once again tell my children how much I love them and to pass on motherly pearls of wisdom.  Thankfully, I was able to hand deliver their birthday letters.

Next came a book, 120 pages recounting June 22 and the ensuing events of survival;   hospital horror stories, battling insurance  bureaucracy and the legal world of attorneys.   Perhaps not the most up lifting subject matter but none the less, I was able to write it!

After completing my catharsis therapy I moved on to daily use of Dragon. I was able  to access my children’s high school academics and communicate directly with their teachers via e-mails. This availability made for a happy Mom but not so happy teenagers.

My favorite use of Dragon NaturallySpeaking is coupled with Hallmark greeting cards. Hallmark has a program which allows the on-line user to edit its cards by adding personal messages and pictures, and it will then address, stamp and mail the card.  All I have to do speak and I am sending birthday greetings, holiday cheer, and just because cards to family and friends across the United States. And now that my children have graduated from high school and I am no longer communicating with their teachers (much to their relief) I have ample time to write to them at college.

I have been a Dragon user since its infancy, starting with my PC and now speaking/ writing on my Apple. My life has been challenging but I have had tools to assist with those challenges.

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This week we shine the spotlight on the Delaware Division of Family Services (DFS) – our customer of the week! Delaware DFS needed a way to help caseworkers speed documentation turnaround so they could spend more time in the field helping children and families and less time at their desktops — without putting the agency at risk of non-compliance. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional was the solution.

The Division of Family Services (DFS), part of Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families (DSCYF), is dedicated to promoting the protection, safety, and permanency of the state’s youth. With limited resources and mountains of paperwork, the Delaware DFS knew they needed a more efficient way of fulfilling their mission. After instituting a pilot program where a select number of DFS employees tested using Dragon NaturallySpeaking in the filed, the decision was easy to roll out the software to their broader employee base. By using digital voice recorders in the field – along with Dragon’s transcription capability –  and mastering several voice command shortcuts, Dragon has helped to cut the time it takes caseworkers to input notes by up to 75 percent and to increase the quality of their work. One employee explains, “If anything, my notes are longer and more detailed since I’ve been using Dragon. As I’m talking, I add more detail than I would if I were just typing. Other caseworkers have noticed the same thing.” One thing is for sure – Dragon is here to stay for the Delaware Division of Family Services.

Read the entire case study here. (*note: defaults to open .pdf)


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This week we shine the spotlight on Robert, our customer of the week! Robert depends on Dragon NaturallySpeaking to save time and communicate with his associates in different countries.
Schaefer has lived all over the world – jet-setting from Thailand to Bangkok to South America – while conducting an export business. Part of his career responsibilities requires him to communicate with his associates who are based in various countries, but this presented a problem for Robert because he hadn’t quite mastered these foreign languages. His solution was to use a software called PROMT – which performs translations for him – in conjunction with Dragon NaturallySpeaking so he could dictate his thoughts rather than wasting time typing. He explains, “I use Dragon to talk to PROMT. I speak what I want in English into the PROMT window and the translation occurs immediately.” He notes that this has saved him an estimated 25-30% of his time.
Since finding Dragon, Schaefer says he rarely uses a keyboard and that he depends on it daily to navigate his workload. He concludes, “…I fell in love with Dragon immediately.”
Read his full story here. (*note: defaults to open .pdf)

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This week we shine the spotlight on Michael, our customer of the week! Having suffered a severe spinal cord injury several decades ago, Michael uses Dragon NaturallySpeaking to help him fight for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Since his involvement in the disability rights movement back in the 1970s, Michael Muehe has had a passion for fighting for persons with disabilities. With his limited mobility, though, he needed a tool that could help him act as the advocate he wanted to be in a field requiring significant amounts of writing. Dragon NaturallySpeaking has been the answer for many years – whether it’s dictating notes or writing emails: “Dragon is a big time saver for email. I dictate 95-98% of my emails with it. Most people tend to write abbreviated emails, but I can write a nice, long complete email in under five minutes versus the 15 to 30 minutes it would take me with my fingers.” Today, Michael serves as the Executive Director of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities in Cambridge, MA where he works with the courts, the local community and businesses to educate them on persons with disabilities and how to improve conditions for them.

Read Michael’s full story here. (*note: defaults to open .pdf)

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This week we shine the spotlight on CJ, our customer of the week! As a fifth grader struggling with dyslexia, CJ Wallace had difficulties keeping up with his peers in class – until he started to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Watch this video to hear CJ talk about how Dragon has helped him to improve his performance in school:

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This week we shine the spotlight on Duncan, our customer of the week! As a member of Massachusetts’ Historical Society of Old Yarmouth (HSOY), Duncan Oliver was faced with a challenge when trying to put together a book chronicling the city’s historical events. It was his daughter’s suggestion to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking that ultimately helped him to complete the task in a fraction of the time.

Because old newspaper articles were not archived digitally at the HSOY, compiling stories from years past meant that each one would have to retyped, or scanned through optical character reader (OCR) software – something that resulted in a success rate of only about 70%. With limited resources and unable to hire an expensive transcriptionist, Duncan began using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and found that he was able to work twice as fast as the fastest typist at the HSOY.

Today, several other people at the HSOY besides Duncan have started to regularly use Dragon and the book has been completed. Duncan reflects, “All of this came about because a retired father told his daughter about a proposed project and the impossibility of transcribing these newspaper articles, and then he found Dragon NaturallySpeaking under the Christmas tree.”

Read more of Duncan’s story here. (*note: defaults to open a .pdf)

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This week we shine the spotlight on Joe Romm, our customer of the week! Since starting to use Dragon over a decade ago, Joe estimates that he’s ‘written’ nearly four million words.

Romm first discovered Dragon Dictate for Mac when he suffered a minor hand injury that kept him from typing. Upon completing his first book with Dragon, he noted that the software “enabled him to double his productivity.” Since then, Joe has used Dragon to do everything from blogging, to sending emails, to dictating notes for the books he’s working on. He’s expecting to publish his eighth book since 1992 – “Language Intelligence” – written with just a little help from his trusty sidekick, Dragon Dictate.

Read more of Joe’s story here. (*note: defaults to open a .pdf)

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This week we shine the spotlight on Merilee Grage – our customer of the week! Merilee, who struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia for years, is using Dragon to help finish her Master’s degree in Special Education. As a newfound proponent of assistive tech in the classroom, today she’s introduced Dragon to K-12 students who face reading challenges and says the results have been “amazing.”

Grage explains how she dropped out of college in 1979 due to her undiagnosed dyslexia, but with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the tables have turned: “I bought Dragon to help with my typing and I ended up using it for everything: emails, papers, my online courses, and anything else that requires a keyboard. It’s about creativity and having a flow of work that’s not interrupted by worrying about spelling and grammar. Dragon is a major part of that.” More recently, Merilee has seen the transformation Dragon has had on students of all ages, including a 3rd grader with dyslexia who – for the first time – was excited about reading and was thirsty for more. “When we were done,” Grage recalls,” he said, There has to be a third book.’ His motivation was amazing. This was a student who didn’t want to go to the resource room because he read at a first grade level and couldn’t write complete sentences. Dragon and echo reading during profile creation forced him to work on word pronunciation, and his comprehension and fluency greatly increased.”

To read more of Merilee’s story, go here. (*note: link defaults to open up .pdf)

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