MacSpeech, Inc., maker of the popular speech recognition utility MacSpeech Dictate ($199), has partnered with The Emergent Institute (TEI) to offer specialized one-on-one software training. But in a twist from the usual training scenarios, TEI employs people with disabilities who are also experts in accessibility technologies, including MacSpeech Dictate.
While TEI, founded in 2006, was originally a customer of MacSpeech (having purchased a copy of the now-retired iListen), the current partnership comes out of requests from MacSpeech customers for training that goes beyond the basic technical support. Andrew Taylor, founder and CEO of MacSpeech, Inc., says, "People seem interested in being taught, one-on-one, how to use MacSpeech Dictate to its fullest. Our video tutorials have been helpful in covering the basics, but a lot of people want their own individual training sessions."
Although one would assume that anyone offering training would be an expert in the product in question, TEI's trainers themselves rely on MacSpeech Dictate and can thus offer a higher level of insight and empathy about using the product in real-world situations.
Don Whittecar, founder of The Emergent Institute, described the project's origins. "Some of us tried speech recognition on the PC platform and found it very difficult to use. Our use of the MacSpeech family of speech recognition software is centered on MacSpeech Dictate, which is significantly easier to learn and develop depth of use with. The company and I had discussed several ways that TEI and MacSpeech could network over the past two years, so when Andrew Taylor became involved and the discussion turned to the training aspect, it was a natural fit."
TEI's training covers any aspect of the program with which you might need assistance: creating a profile, controlling your Mac via commands, better utilizing the Cache Selection feature, developing optimum recognition, working with specialized vocabularies, and more. Training is user-directed, so you can get help with the precise aspects of the program you want, without wasting time on parts you already understand. Additionally, with trainers using a combination of screen sharing and phone support to run the virtual sessions, you can receive training whenever and wherever it's convenient for you.
MacSpeech Dictate One-on-One Training is available for the entire MacSpeech Dictate product lineup, including MacSpeech Dictate Legal, Medical, and International. Training sessions cost $69.95 per 50-minute session, though an introductory price of $49.95 is being offered for the first session until the end of 2009 (use the coupon code "TRAINING" at checkout to access the discount). Training sessions are currently available only to registered users in the United States and Canada, and can be scheduled by calling 888-712-7074.