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Speech to Text Solutions for Deaf People

ASR (automatic speech recognition) still do not meet quality standards to replace professional human captioners. However, their accurate rate has significantly improved in the past few years to the point that they can be used for informal personal conversations and sometimes even for presentations or work meetings.

Whenever possible, please consider using human captioners first. If it’s not possible, speech technologies can help deaf and hard of hearing people to some extent. It’s important to ask deaf people first what’s the best communication solution for them – instead of assuming that a speech technology would be a perfect solution for them.

If you are considering using speech technologies, the following is a list of some tools that are commonly used and/or preferred by many deaf and hard of hearing people.

  • Google Live Transcribe: Free to use but available only for Android users.
  • Otter.ai: Free for up to 600 minutes a month and can be used on iOs and Android.
  • Microsoft Translator: Free to use on any device – Android, Amazon, iOS, Windows and Powerpoint.

This list is not exhaustive. There are more speech technologies out there that you can find online. And many more new tools keep coming up with time.

As with any speech technologies, their accurate rate varies depending on an environment, language used, clarity of a speaker’s voice, proximity of a mouth to a microphone, and so on. The ability to understand aural information depends on more factors than just accessing text. There are many quality considerations that improve speech to text experience.

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