A keen campaigner and writer, Raisa uses lots of different assistive technology to help her do day to day tasks. Here, she writes about some of these pieces of technology and how they help her live the life she chooses.
I’m very selective when choosing assistive technology. Of course, everything has its purpose, but if it is no use to me, there’s no point in using it.
For me, because I have the option, I don’t use assistive technology for absolutely everything. I’ve only considered using assistive technology seriously when I started university in 2013.
Because I was doing a Creative and Professional Writing degree, it was clear that there was going to be a lot of writing involved. There was no guarantee that I would be able to type everything up in time, by only using two fingers on the keyboard without a fast typist beside me. I was lucky in the sense that I got quite a lot of help through Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) at uni.
I’ve always had the habit of writing nearly everything by hand so I can literally see what I am typing, rather than transferring my thoughts straight onto a computer. I have never been able to do it. The only exception is when I compose emails. But even then, if my email is really long and I’m really exhausted, I would probably end up using some sort of assistive technology.
Technology has so many uses
I am (literally) using Dragon Naturally Speaking 13 to dictate this post in my bedroom. This version is pretty good. I was first introduced to this software in 2009, when version 9 came out. It was horrendous. No matter how much I tried to train the software to my voice there were too many typos per page. I literally wanted to rip my hair out.
I got Dragon 12 at the beginning of my university course in 2013. Thank God I did. There was just too much to do in so little time! Don’t get me wrong, it still makes mistakes, but they’re so rare that I can live with it now.