Windows Vista Accessibility: Speech Recognition and Navigation

As referenced in my previous Blog entry, I just returned from delivering the opening keynote address at the NextGen Users Conference in Las Vegas. The event was attended by nearly 2500 people. As I looked out across the vast audience that filled the Grand Ballroom I couldn't help but think about how much, and how fast, this company has grown. Their first users conference in 1995 consisted of 27 customers and 17 NextGen employees. This year's event was organized by more than 160 NextGen employees. At the rate NextGen's user base is growing, I suspect that conference attendance will top 4000 within a couple of years. Of course I'd like to attribute this growth at least in part to the partnership between our two companies. NextGen is solidly built on Microsoft technologies. It's a business decision and strategy that appears to be paying off huge dividends for NextGen.

Speaking of great technology, be sure to check out Part 2 of my streaming video "House Calls" series on Windows Vista accessibility features. This particular video focuses on the greatly improved speech recognition and navigation experience in Windows Vista. My colleague, Rob Chambers, provides a whirlwind tour and demo of speech recognition in Vista and gives us a few tips and tricks to help maximize our experience with speech.

My reason for focusing on accessibility in Windows Vista is to draw attention to the prevalence of temporary and permanent disabilities in the workplace and general population. Accessibility technologies and solutions are available to keep people productive and make computing available to everyone regardless of visual, auditory, cognitive,or neuromuscular ability. Health professionals need to be aware of these technologies since they are often the first point of contact for people who may turn to them for advice and counsel on how best to live and remain productive with a disability.

To stream the video, click here

Bill Crounse, MD Healthcare Industry Director Microsoft Corporation

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