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Languages & The Media - November 21, 2012 - Berlin

From: Languages & The Media,9th International Conference on Language Transfer in Audiovisual Media, Conference Catalogue, Translating in Multilingual Communities, Berlin, November 21, 2012


Making Media Accessible 


Overcoming Communication Barriers - Respeaking the Radio for the Deaf and the Hard-of-Hearing

Francesca Marchionne, onA.I.R., Italy and Carlo Eugeni, Intersteno, Italy

The aim of this speech is to illustrate a research project called OltreSuoni aiming at making web radios accessible to all, mainly foreigners and the deaf and the hard-of-hearing audience, by means of intralinguallive subtitles through respeaking.

Thanks to the recent technological developments in the field of Automatic Speech Recognition and of data transmission, it has been possible for 10 researchers, 5 respeakers, 5 live editors, 30 foreigners, 30 deaf and hard-of-hearing people, and 30 Italian hearing people living around the country, to work on the project for 6 months and to collect useful information to make it possible for a web radio to be accessible to everybody in the globe, despite possible language or sensory impairments, thus paving the way to the overcoming of one of the most meaningful communication barriers.

In particular, for the six months of the experimentation, a 20-minute weekly radio program has been subtitled bya respeaker and a live editor from Italian into Italian; and 'accessed' by Italian hearers, foreigners, and deaf and hard-of-hearing people. The topic of the program was decided among the three groups of volunteers having accepted to participate in the project experimentation. Simultaneously, the scientific committee has been tested reception and perception of the three groups of volunteers, by means of an ad hoe questionnaire and a dedicated forum which was activated in the pause between the first and the second part of the program in order for volunteers to discuss the program in real time. Excerpts from the experi­mentation will be shown and results illustrated. 

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