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Inclusive Technology

Yaning Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited September 2020 in Start here and say hello!
Hello everyone,

My name is Yaning and I'm studying Population Health at university in London. My friend Divya (who is also on this forum) and I are working on a project to develop technologies for a more inclusive society; I am interested in accessibility because of the subject I study and my personal experience with disability, while she has gotten involved in this field because of the nonprofit and consulting work she has done.

We have thought of developing an application and website that uses predictive text to prompt people in their everyday speech if there are words that are at the "tip of their tongue" or are difficult to find. This would take a lot of practice and machine learning before it was accurate enough, but we thought we would make a start on the idea.

Could I please ask what you all think of this kind of software?

Is it useful? Would you or someone you know benefit from it? Is there anything else we should keep in mind?

Thank you so much, and I hope you keep well and safe.

Kind regards,



  • emmarenshaw
    emmarenshaw Member Posts: 711 Pioneering
    Welcome to the community @Yaning I’m sure some of our community will be able to provide some of their experiences. It sounds really interesting.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,260 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Yaning Personally I hate predictive text as it automatically puts in the word for you from the first few letters and if that isnt the word you wanted you then have to mess about changing it. I always switch it off, just my opinion
  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 5,263 Disability Gamechanger
    I agree with @janer1967 predictive text can be a complete joke (thank you predictive text! I was going to say pain but joke is better.) 

    however if the predictive text is very good then I can see how it could help people with say fine motor skills issues and other physical disabilities. So I’m split on this issue. 

    “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

    ― Dalai Lama XIV
  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,154 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @janer1967

    Welcome to our online community/family it’s great to meet you today??

  • Yaning
    Yaning Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you all for your responses so far! I get that the technology can be quite frustrating, especially if poorly developed, and I don't use it often myself when typing. 

    This technology will probably be used for people with aphasia, dyslexia, chronic fatigue, or some mental health difficulties - I have also gotten feedback from someone with CFS that this can be distracting in social settings, but may work when an individual is alone!
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I used to agree that predictive was bad but more recently it seems to remember the words you tend to use and becomes more sensible. It might just be me but it does seem so.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    I think what you want already exists. Originally,  it was Dragon naturally  speaking, but others are available  now and are standard inbuilt on new laptops.  They aren't  widely known about, even by the shopstaff  that sell them. 

    It's  a way to dictate and the screen will display what you said (you could print off, if it's a letter).  But the secondary  function is that if you have a weak voice, or other communication  difficulties,  your machine soon 'learns' what you probably intended to say. It's  predictive text married to subtitles, but becomes tailored.

    It also will pick up on the  voice of the other person talking, not quite as well, but giving them the chance to talk to the screen, and you can read what they said, which is good if your hearing isn't  ideal.   The whole conversation  is on screen, and can be whatever size font is required.   

    Ideally,  for several  people  in a room, you would have a tweak so if more than two people are involved, each could have a script colour and their name shown when they contribute a sentence.   But Covid has made online meeting commonplace,  so  instead of filming their own faces, they could, with a little  practice, film their screens,  while their computers are taking their spoken words as dictation.
  • Yaning
    Yaning Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you all for your informative and detailed responses! It seems that many people find predictive text technology difficult to use or impractical, though it may have improved in recent years. And @newborn, thank you for bringing this point up- we will look further into this type of software! We had already looked into Dragon Naturally Speaking during our research process but didn't know something like this existed.

    Thank you again, and I hope that everyone stays well and in good spirits whether you are shielding, quarantining at home, or going outside a bit more  :)
  • Sparklebright62
    Sparklebright62 Member Posts: 37 Listener
    Hi there Yanking,

    About your Software Predictive Text, I think this must just be Me  but their is No Way I can use this Software I have to not use it on my Phone or Computer it is really annoying all it dose it type words you can't use i am partially sighted but cannot use this for some reason my brain dose not like it all I would love to know why not.



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