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Inexpensive technology for overcoming hearing, speech and visual difficulties. Free tutorials and online programs.

Audio Recording and Note-Taking Tools for Meetings

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“Meetings suck because we let them,” wrote tech and business writer Christopher Null in his PCWorld piece back in November 2013. Since then, a lot of tech has improved, the note-taking and audio recording apps have multiplied, and global web conferencing is old news.

The importance of meetings, however, remained the same. If “we don’t take our meetings seriously,” wrote Null, “if we ignore what participants ask or say, fail to document the meeting’s takeaways, or forget to follow up afterward — they might as well not have happened.”

Let’s talk about why it’s important to document meetings, how to do it, and how to make the best use of the tech available.

Voice Recognition Apps: The Best in Assistive Tech

graphic of audio wave spelling out 'voice'

In a Staunton Media Lab (SML) broadcast streamed live on April 27, Audio Director Coley Evans, President Steve O’Keefe, and special guest Max Cross discussed (and demonstrated on a Chromebook) their preferred speech-to-text and screen capture software, with emphasis on their usability by the visually and hearing-impaired. We’ve covered the screen capture part of the broadcast in our previous blog post, and this one will focus on speech-to-text/transcription/voice recognition apps.

Assistive tech tools need improvement

Advancements in artificial Intelligence (AI), and voice- and image-recognition technology are making the world more inclusive for the visually impaired, notes Andrew Williams writing for Alphr, “helping them to interact with their surroundings.” True, but assistive tech still has ways to go, and voice recognition apps are no exception.

In his recent article for the UK-based TechWorld, Terry Hawkins, head of B2B solutions at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), urged businesses to follow suit of the likes of giants like Facebook and Twitter to make online tech more accessible, “to make them better for all users,” and the blind and partially sighted in particular.

Screen Capture Software: SML Picks

In a Staunton Media Lab (SML) broadcast streamed live on April 27, Audio Director Coley Evans, President Steve O’Keefe, and special guest Max Cross discussed (and demo-ed on a Chromebook) their preferred screen capture and transcription software, with emphasis on their usability by the visually impaired, hard of hearing/deaf, and other uniquely-abled individuals.

Do you need screen capture software?

Screen capture software is a good tool for those who want to record video and take screenshots of their screen, share and edit images and video, and create add-ons like comments and shapes.

Screen capture software works best for, say, creating tutorials, though video capture software may be a better solution if you’re making high-quality video tutorials. Those two types of software are similar, but video capture software offers a higher-quality video end product, and you can control video formats and length better.

The Latest Strides in Assistive Tech

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As we’ve previously discussed, assistive technology and accessibility requirements development and implementation have a way to go, and any strides tech companies, app developers, or any businesses make are met with enthusiasm and hope.

Assistive tech is for everyone

Assistive technology can help — and can be used by everyone — not just for the people living with disabilities.

Take ChromeVox, for instance. As Kim Krause Berg notes in her article on test-driving Google’s accessibility apps for Android:

How Can You Help?

Tell your friends about us. All our progress has come from someone telling someone else about Staunton Media Lab. Please connect with SML online and connect SML with the people you love.

A Wish Goes A Long Way

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