During a discussion with a recent Dragon graduate, our student provided an update on the “job search” front. Our student has been reworking his resume—likely to become several resumes—and the Job Developer assigned to our student asked him to remove the phrase “Dragon NaturallySpeaking” from his list of software skills—where he also has Microsoft Word, etc.
Some people serving individuals with disabilities have been introduced to Dragon as an accessibility tool; when that is not all it is. It is especially true of those service providers here in Ohio. In the state of Ohio, Dragon was adopted by people with disabilities (a.k.a. the accessibility market) way back in 1990 when the primary funding source was the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission and insurance companies because the cost of just the Dragon software was north of $9000.
Job developers may be concerned that the name “Dragon” is viewed as a tool used exclusively by people with disabilities—and in effect could disqualify people before even having the opportunity for an interview. Of course, it is impossible to know what a potential employer’s bias may or may not be toward people with disabilities. Software used to filter resumes search for keywords in resumes; there is little doubt that including the phrase “Dragon” could be construed as negative.
So, as usual, it is only the “human” reviewers our student needs to be concerned about—for all the impressive, positive and open-minded attitudes people in the United States believe they possess—it is hard to explain to a job seeker that many biases, human biases, yet remain.
As far as Dragon goes, it has been, and for the foreseeable future, will continue to be a productivity tool FIRST. The manufacturer’s goal has never been to focus on accessibility as its only purpose. It has absolutely been a tremendous byproduct and benefit for people who cannot physically type—sure, but for people who “get it” and have other things to do during their workday—Dragon offers 150+ words per minute with 98% accuracy. No typist offers that—anywhere.
The truth is that voice recognition technology has been developed to give people a choice—whether in their cars, homes or offices—or even on their phones—to use a tool that can easily be at least 3 times faster than using a keyboard for typewritten communication. For Dragon users, like our job seeking student, who have completed the Dragon Foundation and Intermediate courses, they can double their productivity to 300+ words per minute! So getting a job no longer needs to be about “can you type” but rather, what you “say” when you type. Oh, you mean that people should be hired because they possess the education, skills and experience needed and the keyboard is no longer a barrier? RIGHT!
Dragon is a tool among many software tools that people in computerized offices can CHOOSE to use each workday.
I’m reminded of that Army commercial…”be all that you can be” and wondering why, even after 21 years showing people the benefits voice recognition offers—why anyone wouldn’t want to use it. And I certainly have no idea why anyone who has mastered Dragon would be discouraged from adding it to their list of “highly” marketable skills. Okay—I’ll stop wondering negative things—back to positive!
While more and more people “get it” and adopt Dragon for use every day, one person’s resume does not need to serve as a “billboard” for Dragon.
So whether our student lists Dragon on his resume or not—his choice; likewise, people can choose to use a keyboard at a “snail’s pace” or use Dragon to focus on content allowing for more time to edit and format what is written. Oh, you mean that Dragon increases the possibility that a person can produce a higher quality document in less time? RIGHT AGAIN!
Our firm, CHESS, continues to provide seminars, workshops, “webinars” and participates in conferences throughout Ohio—we are happy to continue providing the education needed so that eventually people will recognize that mastering Dragon is a skill just as important to a computer worker as mastering Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.
Go DRAGON! GO “DRAGON USING” Job Seekers!