My right hand is out of commission from doing too much yard work over the weekend. A sure sign I’m getting old, and a reminder that this can happen to anyone. I’m using Dragon Dictate for the Mac as a temporary solution. Hopefully it doesn’t last too long.

It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend here in Eastern Ontario. The sun was shining, the leaves were drying up, and the grass was peeking through like it was coming out for some summer sun.

I managed to take advantage of the beautiful weather, blowing and vacuuming up the leaves and mulching them into a fine dust, and loading them all up into recyclable bags. 12 bags in all, 6 hours of work.

The next morning my right wrist was swollen up to be about the size of the roundness of a small apple. I’m having a really tough time flexing my hand, I can’t bend my wrist and holding onto anything is proving to be quite a challenge. When I do flex my hand I can hear a creaking noise that sounds like rubber tubing rubbing up against a ball of cellophane.

I can’t use my hand right now and it is slowing me down. I composed this entire blog post using Dragon dictate for the Mac. It’s quite accurate and I didn’t need to complete much training. Hopefully this won’t last long but I’m very thankful that I have been exposed to voice recognition software over the years in our accessibility work, so I know how to use it reasonably well. Even with that, the dictation part was the easiest. Actually posting proved to be a bit more challenging and is likely to become a series of posts on using Dragon Dictate on the Mac.

At some point in your life you may break down. You may get injured. Your abilities to do the things that you do now may decrease. Vision, hearing, dexterity, mobility, cognitive abilities — any or all of them may change in your future.

Right now you might be focusing on building accessible websites for other people. Someday you may be hoping that others are building them properly for you.

6 thoughts on “Hands-free for now”

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  1. Do you think you’ll continue using Dragon Dictate once your hand heals? Or would that be less convenient than just typing?

    1. Good question – only time will tell. I’m not happy with its performance right now as compared to the Windows versions I’ve used in the past. Great for dictation, but manipulating the interface of the computer isn’t quite right — I’d even say buggy at this point.

  2. Nora says:

    I broke my right (dominant) elbow in May and it slowed me down quite a bit as I couldn’t straighten or flex my arm. I’ve been seeing commercials for Dragon lately and was curious how well it works. Thanks for this!

    1. Nora — are you on a Mac or Windows machine?

      1. Nora says:

        Windows – XP and 7.

    2. You should have no trouble on XP, though I’m not sure about Windows 7. I’m using the Mac version and I’m finding it very different than the Windows versions I’ve used. I’m going to have to do a comparison to see how well the stack up now, but I’m sure you should be okay.

      Having said that — have you tried using Speech Recognition in your Windows 7? It might be enough to do the trick.

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