Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘communication devices

How many of you have the iPhone 4S with Siri? Do you use it? Do you like it?

Today I got together with a couple of friends who stutter and we hung out over lunch and caught up, with lots of laughing and stuttering.

We got talking about the dictation apps on smartphones and one friend wanted to know how it works with someone who stutters. He wanted to know if the application “heard the stuttering” and “typed” that out. I told him I didn’t know, as I don’t stutter when I’m alone!

We decided to try it at the restaurant. I don’t have Siri, but I do have “Dragon Dictation” on my smartphone. You can speak into the recorder and the application types your words, which you then can send as a text message or post to social media.

My friends suggested I try it to see how it would work. Interestingly, I felt self-conscious doing some voluntary stuttering in front of them. I needed to do that in order to stutter enough in order for our little experiment to be valid. After a few seconds of voluntary stuttering, I found myself full-on blocking.

The recorder picked up almost exactly what I said perfectly, because it apparently took the “blocks” as just pauses. We decided that wasn’t good enough, as I hadn’t had any repetitions.

Another friend tried it. At first, he spoke as he typically does, with blocking and few repetitions. The application flashed the message “could not process.” We didn’t like that.

He then did a lot of voluntary repetitions instead of blocking. The dictation application picked up the stuttering and typed out “did did did did” as part of one of his phrases. We all said “Boo” and decided we’d had enough of this little experiment. We declared that obviously smartphone dictation applications weren’t designed by people who stutter, nor to be well used by people who stutter.

What do you think? Is there a modication that can or should be made with dictation apps for people who stutter?


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2019.
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