Headshot Young Girl

Patrick Hickey

VIA22 EMEA

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Challenge

The challenge that I am currently experiencing in education is the inability of voice typing to understand the rural Irish accent. I have taught a number of students over the last 10 years that have additional learning challenges such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, expressive languages difficulties. These students are often given an assistive technology grant for Dragon software. However, Dragon is not compatible with ChromeOS so a Windows Laptop must be purchased. As the money for the software and laptop are provided by the state, many children that really need voice typing are refused the grant for the device and software. The difficulty that Irish students are having with voice typing is important because the Primary School Curriculum states that 'all children should reach their full potential' (NCCA 1999, p.29). Through challenges associated with writing and spelling, many children are not given the opportunity to reach their full potential. However, an inexpensive Chromebook with Google Workspace for Education and inbuilt accurate voice recognition software would ensure that all children would not be hampered by writing or spelling difficulties. Therefore, through making voice recognition tools mainstream all students, irrespective of ability or disability would be able to convey their thoughts and feelings.