Friday, August 17, 2012

What is Word Prediction?

What is Word Prediction Software?

Word prediction software attempts to assist the user by "predicting" words as they type.  The words predicted can very depending on the program and the settings for the user.  This can range from the first letter typed, the previous words in the sentence, and frequent use.

With some text to speech programs, the users can make a choice by either hitting the number (or with some programs key combinations) and have it inserted into their sentence.  Choices can also be made using a mouse.  Words can be programmed into the program's dictionary that are not initially there, such as the user's name.  There are many other options that can be changed with this type of software, such as:

  • Font size of the words in the predicted list
  • Spacing added after words chosen off the list
  • Two spaces added after a period
  • Text to speech features for words chosen.  This can also include reading the entire sentence when punctuation is added if set up for this feature.
What about phrase prediction?Phrase prediction predicts phrases.  For example, if a user types the word "go" in addition to words that begin with go phrases such as "good morning" will also be predicted.

Where could someone use word prediction?

Word prediction can be used with any program that a person would normally add text.  This would include email, social networking sites, documents, even instant messaging.   

Who would benefit from word prediction software?

Word prediction software can benefit adults and children with various issues.  This can include individuals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia or other issues with spelling.  

Adults that would benefit:
  • Typists slower than 15 WPM
  • Individuals that have pain with extended typing.  Word prediction software will decrease the amount of keys that need to be pressed.
  • Word finding difficulty
  • Individuals that user alternative access for typing such as a head mouse or eye gaze
Word prediction can be an important tool for users with varying impairments.  Through evaluation and trial of various hardware and software can increase an individual's independence.

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