A basic tenet of Universal Design–in architecture as well as in learning–is that if you design for people “in the margins”, it tends to benefit everyone. The most oft-cited example of this is the curb cut. Increasingly, the reverse is also true. Mainstream technology designed to improve functionality for everyone is especially helpful for individuals who face exceptional challenges. The advances in voice recognition, or speech-to-text, offer a striking example of this.
The latest version of the Google Search app for both iOS and Android devices shows just how far mainstream voice recognition has come! Asking a question yields not only search results, but in many instances you can also hear a spoken answer. When I tried the app on my iPad, I was blown away by the accuracy and the speed of this powerful tool. Many individuals, who face a wide range of challenges will benefit from the new Google Search app.