SentenceShaper is designed for use by people who may no longer be able to read or type in text. However, the program now has an area on the main screen where you can type in text. This opens up many interesting possibilities…
— SentenceShaper can be run simultaneously with third-party programs such as WordQ, which can read the text in this area aloud, and suggest words or phrases as they are typed into SentenceShaper.
— You can create “subtitles” that may help listeners understand the speech of someone with apraxia or other intelligibility issues. This may be especially helpful if the user is creating a video, since text titles can be included in the exported video.
— If the user is trying to memorize sentences or phrases, as in a workbook used for language therapy or in script training, it may be helpful to see the text of the target sentence displayed.
— Text captions may also help people work on their reading. For example, you can create a recorded sentence with SentenceShaper’s support, and then transcribe it into the text area. With the help of a third party program like WordQ, you can “check your answer” by playing the recording and comparing it with the text.
— Finally, you can even run SentenceShaper 2 in conjunction with voice recognition software such as SpeakQ or Dragon Naturally Speaking. There is some preliminary evidence (Dahl, Linebarger, & Berndt, 2008) that recordings created on SentenceShaper can be recognized much more accurately than spontaneous speech. But another, and perhaps simpler, way to build on SentenceShaper’s support for speech was suggested by Traci Kurkowski, DHSc, MS, CCC-SLP: create a spoken utterance on SentenceShaper, replay it as needed for practice, and then turn on the speech recognizer and repeat the practiced utterance. The recognizer’s text will now appear in SentenceShaper’s text area.
By the way, any text that you create within SentenceShaper can be saved. Just export the page or workbook, and the program will automatically create a document containing all the text in the exported workbook or page.
Finally, a note about text within the program itself. SentenceShaper was designed to be accessible to people who have lost the ability to read — vocabulary cues can always be played aloud by clicking buttons, for example, and all prompts and instructions within workbooks are spoken. However, there is text in the tutorial workbook, and on other program screens. In Version 1.0.7, much of this text has been made accessible to screen readers like WordQ. Any text that you can select with a mouse can be played aloud by most screen readers.