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The votes are in, and we’re very excited to announce that we have chosen this year’s winners of the I Speak Dragon! story contest! We received hundreds of inspirational stories from across the country – coming from students, parents, teachers, business professionals, grandparents, and just about everyone in between – describing how using Dragon has helped to transform their lives. Now without further ado, here are this year’s winners:

Most Productive

“At Work or Play, Dragon’s My Way”

Jan Moore graduated college with a Political Science degree, was admitted to five law schools, and was looking forward to getting her first full-time job after graduation. Jan was determined, but fighting what seemed to be an uphill battle; she had cerebral palsy, was in a wheelchair, and was turned away from every position she applied for, after prospective employers concluded she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the typing requirements.

For thirty years she was faced with rejection and, understandably, her self-esteem took a beating. Eventually, Jan settled into a job as an independent sales representative, working to distribute products for a cosmetics company by doing invoices by hand – a very time-consuming process.

It wasn’t until after Jan discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking that she noticed a life-changing outcome. She says, “Now, I actually had time to enjoy what I was doing, taking care of my young family and growing my business. Dragon NaturallySpeaking…allows me to ‘speak the changes’ and get the job done in a fraction of the time!”

Today, Jan has achieved more than she ever thought possible; volunteering for her city’s Human Relations Commission, helping her sister with her business, and finally landing her dream job at a university: “…none of it would have been possible without Dragon NaturallySpeaking!”

Read Jan’s full story here.

Most Life-Changing

“How Dragon Speak Helped my Son”

As a person with Autism, Rhys Owen Wynne has certain visual impairments that can make reading and writing quite the ordeal. As a result of his difficulties, Rhys was often teased at school, which had a hand in him eventually developing behavioral issues.

Rhys’ Dad wanted to find a way for his son to be able to write the stories which he enjoyed so much with confidence, so he purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Because he was bilingual and spoke Thai as a first language, which is based primarily on tones, he had a hard time with the software at the beginning. However, listening to what he had dictated using Dragon’s playback feature, Rhys was able to identify what needed to be corrected and even start proofreading his work.

If you saw Rhys today, you wouldn’t even recognize him. “Rhys puts on his headset, becoming a new person,” says his father. He’s written books, poems, and songs using Dragon and has even seen two of his books published and receive awards. Rhys now works part-time at a Public Library, feeling accepted by the community and interacting with others with a newfound confidence. His father best describes the transformation by saying, “This program has opened a brand new world for him.”

Read Rhys’ full story here.

Most Creative

“Love Letters from Time”

With her uncle’s passing and her aunt growing older, Lorraine Pretty wanted to capture and preserve an important piece of her family’s history before time slipped away from her. In her Aunt Helen’s hope chest laid a collection of love letters, written by her late husband Joe as he served in World War II.

Lorraine worried that the task would take her years, but then she remembered a program she had seen advertised – Dragon NaturallySpeaking – which she could use to quickly transcribe the letters:

January 21st, 1944

Dearest Helen,

The army just pulled the seat out from all of my dreams. I’m not getting that fifteen day furlough, only a four day. So if you could make plans to be married on the 8th that would be swell.

December 2nd, 1944

Dearest Wife,

As I sit and write this in a house, it reminds me of the country, because the light comes from a lamp. It’s peaceful here, and for a while I forgot there was a war on.

Today, Lorraine is working to finish the memoir of her Aunt Helen and Uncle Joe, hoping to turn the love story into a book.

Hear and see Lorraine’s full story here.

Facebook Fan Favorite

“Independence – Thanks to Dragon!!!”

Born prematurely at only twenty-six weeks, Michael Campisi was left with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, causing severely delayed motor skills and other obstacles. “It was always an exhausting battle trying to reach the normal milestones of childhood,” Michael explains. Particularly, he faced challenges at school where he was unable to keep up with other students in classes that required extensive writing. It wasn’t the thought or effort that went into his assignments, but the writing process itself.

By third grade, Michael’s mother noticed his slipping grades and requested an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting. As a result, Michael was assigned an aid named Betty who helped him for years and with whom he developed a strong relationship. When it was time to enter high school, though, he came to a cross roads – how could he maintain his grades while gaining an increased sense of independence?

After some investigation, Michael discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking and, with coordination from his school, he was given the opportunity to use the speech recognition software at home and in school. Now, at the age of nineteen and after using Dragon for three years, he looks back on his experience, calling Dragon “…the answer to [his] prayers.” Michael still keeps in touch with his old friend Betty, but now he has a new friend – Dragon – who he plans to take with him on his journey to college.

Read Michael’s full story here.

Besides basking in the glory of being one of our honorary Dragon fans, each winner will receive a third generation Apple iPad, a copy of either Dragon NaturallySpeaking or Dragon Dictate, and free product upgrades for three years. Talk about some great prizes!! But remember, if you entered our contest and your story wasn’t chosen, there’s always next year! We’d like to thank ALL of our great fans for sharing their stories with us, and for showing us just how much Dragon can make a difference.

Prepare to laugh, cry, and be inspired… check out more of this year’s I Speak Dragon! stories here.

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How do you speak Dragon?

A premature birth left Michael hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy, causing a sever delay of his motor skills. Read this story about how he went from struggling in the classroom to becoming independent and ready to take on high school – with a little help from Dragon.

Don’t forget to share YOUR story with us! Enter here and tell your friends to “like” your story on Facebook for a chance to be this year’s Fan Favorite and win a third generation iPad!

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On this week’s special edition of Ask the Dictator, Peter Mahoney announces the sixth annual I Speak Dragon! contest. This contest gives our Dragon customers the chance to share their unique experiences about how their lives have been transformed in some way by using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Dragon Dictate, or MacSpeech Scribe.

Learn how you can enter, what you can win and how you could be our Facebook Fan Favorite winner by tuning in below!

Now that you’ve received the low-down on this year’s conference, start dictating your story or shooting your video and submit it here: http://ispeakdragon.nuance.com!

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