https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

[Accessibility] How can someone use Duolingo without using their hands?

Hello,

Has anyone figured out how to use Duolingo (website) hands free on a Windows computer and an iPad? A friend of mine would like to join, but requires a hands free option.

I am not tech literate. So, the simplest, most complete explanation would be best if you have one.

Many thanks :)

June 18, 2014

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Red_Rat_Writer

hello I Am Using speech recognition To type his comment I have navigated here hands free . It's difficult at first but you get used to It. I really useful command is mouse grid . It allows you to select anywhere on this green . Go to windows and search for speech recognition. And then take the tutorial. If you have any more questions go ask me.

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DeroGoi

I would suggest a voice to text program, but I do not have an iPad or a Windows so I cannot recommend any. Perhaps the program Dragon could help?

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Red_Rat_Writer

Windows has 'Speech to text' program, you might be able to calibrate it with DL, you might consider something more advanced like Dragon.

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Any idea how could they navigate outside of creating text? Like, moving between Home, Words, Activity, Discussion, Immersion etc, giving lingots, up voting, jumping around to various skills on the tree, and selecting which box to tic to report things in the sentence discussions?

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Red_Rat_Writer

There's a way to turn all of the 'links' into numbers. Like to upvote, you would say 'show links', and you see upvote is 34, and you would say 'press number 34'.

It should be in the text to speech tutorial.

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/roxyrenders

In regards to the Windows Speech recognition program your friend should prepare for a fair amount of frustration until the computer "learns" to recognise his voice /speech patterns. I have tried it before and got too frustrated with the learning process and gave up... plus there are all the voice commands to learn. I agree with others that the Dragon program might be more responsive than the generic Windows speech recognition.

Kudos to Red_Rat_Writer for giving the speech recognition a trial run....deserves some lingots!

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you everyone for your input and suggestions, I've given you all a lingot. And thank you Red_Rat_Writer for running that test. If anyone finds out anymore information, please let me know. Meanwhile, I plan to link to this discussion from the (unofficial) Duolingo wiki's Accessibility Options page Thank you!

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls

I use some voice recognition on both Windows and the iPad, i.e. I combine typing and speaking. The biggest hurdle for using it entirely by voice seemed to be finding a way to switch between languages (the voice recognition has to know what language you are speaking) so I usually dictate the answers to questions that require an English answer, but I type answers in German or Spanish. Perhaps someone who is properly multilingual and uses voice recognition will know if it is possible to quickly switch languages. I do know that it is possible to spell out answers in other languages (at least in Windows); this seems very onerous to me, but I might think differently if I couldn't use a keyboard.

Thus far on the iPad, I have only used dictation for answering a question, not navigating the program. I don't know if that is possible. I am sure it is possible on Windows (I have done it with Dragon, and I believe it is possible with Windows built-in voice recognition). It didn't seem especially friendly navigating with Dragon on Windows, but I put very little time into making it work properly, so it might well prove doable.

If your friend thinks the multi-lingual problem is surmountable and would like any particular test performed on iPad or Windows 7 or 8, let me know and I will do my best to help.

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Red_Rat_Writer

test

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/roxyrenders

Android has an app called Dragon Mobile Assistant from Nuance- makers of the Dragon Speech recognition software. Perhaps it is also available for Ipad. The description said you can "search the internet without lifting a finger". I have not personally tried the app, though.

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls

I have two things to add based on recent experience:

1) Regarding using Dragon Naturally Speaking with multiple sets of languages, according to documents on the product website, this can be done, but it requires that you purchase multiple versions of the product. So, in my case, my native language is English, and I am studying Spanish and German. I have the English version of Dragon NS; I could buy the Spanish and German versions and install them side-by-side on my computer. The document was written several years ago, so it may not be up to date. It indicated that you have to switch profiles (which takes 30 seconds or so) in order to switch languages, so that seems like it would not be very good solution for something like DuoLingo in which you would want to quickly switch back and forth many times in a session. I haven't tried this myself (among other reasons, it costs about $100US for each copy of the software).

2) The free Google Translate app for iPad has voice recognition that is incredibly accurate in multiple languages with no training at all. I assume this would be true on the browser-based version as well, and it does require an internet connection. I have used this to dictate in Spanish and German, then copy and paste the dictated text (which is also translated). This only requires switching between apps, although I have not yet figured out if the iPad can be completely controlled by voice, so it doesn't meet the original criteria of the question.

August 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

@davidcwalls, thank you very much for this input (have some lingots!) So, with the Google Translate app, do you have a hands free way to select, copy, and paste text?

August 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls

I have not found a voice control for the iPad that allows full functionality, like switching apps or cut & paste. I think there are limits in the current design of iOS that prevent that.

There is an option in iOS7 called Switch Control (Settings>General>Accessibility). This allows you to integrate with an external device, or the built-in camera. You turn the camera on by going into Switches and select Left Head Movement or Right Head Movement. Your face must be visible to the camera, and you can interact with the system by moving your head to the left or right. I was able to switch apps in this way, and do things like turn Airplane mode on and off. I worked with it for about an hour, and I didn't get to the point where I could select text or copy & paste it. However, it seems like it might be possible given time and effort.

Alternatively, there are various kinds of stylus that you can strap to hand, arm, foot, etc. with Velcro, or use a mouthpiece so you can manipulate the stylus with your mouth.

August 10, 2014
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