Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking Logo

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech-to-text dictation program for students who need assistance with typing papers, taking exams or completing a variety of written work for their classes. It is particularly helpful for students who have limited physical mobility, students who have Dyslexia or a learning disability, and students whose typing and spelling processes are considerably slower than their thought process.

Dragon Naturally Speaking recognition software lets you interact with your PC just by speaking into a microphone! It understands both "what you say" (dictation mode) -- simply speak the words and they appear on the screen; as well as "how you say it" (command mode) -- tell your PC what to do and it does it. Dragon works within your favorite applications to create documents and email, surf the web, update Facebook, and more. 

Top educational features:

  • Help students realize their full potential

For students who struggle with writing, Dragon changes all that. It lets students express themselves simply by talking. Typing and spelling concerns no longer get in the way and slow them down.

  • Turn frustration into accomplishment

Dragon can read back transcribed text to ensure that the material is truly what the user intended to say. Students can also use Dragon to read aloud other text such as homework instructions or incoming email.

  • Eliminate the barrier of typing

Dragon provides students an easier way to control a computer that is less physically and cognitively taxing. Simply speak and the words appear on the computer screen transcribing up to 160 words a minute. Or use simple voice commands to conduct research ( i.e. say "Search Wikipedia for George Washington Carver").

  • Manage communication more effectively

Send emails and Instant Messages to collaborate on group or classroom projects — entirely by voice. Compose and send emails to faculty, colleagues, administrators, parents and students.


Students with language-based learning problems, such as dyslexia, can benefit from using voice recognition software to transfer their ideas into print. Since dyslexic students have trouble expressing their thoughts on paper, they often convey less sophisticated thoughts in their written work, use a simplified vocabulary, or avoid writing tasks altogether.

Learning disabilities researchers have consistently found that use of speech recognition software can make a significant difference for dyslexic students because it enables the students to communicate more efficiently and effectively. In fact, research suggests that the use of speech recognition by dyslexic students has actually generated significant improvement in reading, decoding, spelling and comprehension. It gives students the opportunity to practice their reading skills and can positively influence sound-character awareness.

When students can dictate their papers and examination responses to a computer, they’re more likely to exploit their full language capabilities. Students who have used speech recognition tools to independently produce typed essays can complete assignments with results that are indistinguishable from the work of their non-disabled peers.

Check out the Features and Training Videos on the Nuance website to learn more about how to use this product.

Dragon Naturally Speaking is available on the computers in the Assistive Technology Lab in Smith Hall Rm 229.

If you would like to schedule an appointment to learn more or to set up a user profile and try this program for yourself, please contact the Assistive Technology Specialist, by email at maureen.bourbeau@unh.edu or phone: 603-862-2400.