Staggered Speech Review
- Name of the technology: Staggered Speech
- Link: http://www.staggeredspeech.org/
- Price: Free
- Minimal physical requirements: The patient has to be able to move his eye or head freely.
Staggered Speech is a free onscreen keyboard program for Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP that is designed to be used with Camera Mouse or EagleEyes or any other head-controlled or eye-controlled access technology.
Staggered Speech features large buttons with plenty of space between them. Staggered Speech is a two-level keyboard program that is based on the spelling system developed by Rick Hoyt and his brother. First one chooses the group that contains the desired letter and then one chooses the particular letter in that group. Groups begin at the vowels.
At any time in the main screen the message can be spoken using the built-in voice in Windows (usually Microsoft David or Zira for English (United States) in Windows 8 or Microsoft Anna in Windows 7 or Vista or Microsoft Sam in XP) by clicking on the Speak button. Whenever a letter is added the entire message automatically is copied into the clipboard so it can be pasted in another application. The message can be saved as a standard text file in the File menu.
Note that the program is designed so that buttons don't fall in the same space in successive screens. (Hence the name "Staggered Speech".) In Camera Mouse and EagleEyes clicking is done using "dwell time", holding the mouse pointer in the same spot for half a second or a second. With the buttons staggered from screen to screen it is much less likely that a person will click on the wrong button because the mouse pointer hasn't been moved.
(In Staggered Speech it takes two clicks two type a letter. In the first click you select a group of letters. In the second click you select the specific letter within the group. If you would like to try an onscreen keyboard program that has all the letters on the screen at once, then you can download the free Midas Touch program at www.midastouch.org.)
The Staggered Speech program is part of the EagleEyes Project of Boston College. We hope it is useful to you.
Note that depending on the settings in your browser, when you click on the download button you may need to give your browser permission to download the program, for example by clicking on the thin yellow band at the top of the browser. Note also that Staggered Speech 2009 is the latest version of this program.