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Science and Technology


 A web-radio for the deaf. It rather seems like a contradiction in terms, but it’s a reality: a real project aiming at making the radio accessible even to those who cannot hear. It is called “OltreSuoni”, is still in a trial phase and aims at subtitling an online radio station with the simultaneous subtitling technique called “respeaking”.

CAGLIARI – The project, sponsored by the provincial section of Cagliari of the National Deaf Association and presented by the Association TDM 2000, foresees the creation of a web-radio accessible also to the deaf thanks to the use of the simultaneous subtitling technique called “respeaking”. The core of the project is the will to bring informative contents closer to those who have so far been excluded, such as the deaf and the immigrants, by offering them the chance to read in written form what is expressed orally, thus overcoming the problem of sound and spoken language.

The radio station involved in the trial will be “RadioXCaso”, the web-radio of the Association TDM 2000, but the promoters of this project hope they will soon be able to apply this model to the most important national radio stations. The trial will last six months, involving approximately twenty persons who will follow specific programs broadcasted both in the traditional way and with subtitles and who will then compare their different experiences.

“The respeaking technique basically consists in dictating a text to a special software which can process it and, if necessary, create subtitles – says Francesca Marchionne, President of the Italian Respeaking Association. – Our goal is to combine this technique with sign language and subtitling, and not to substitute the one with the other.” According to expert Carlo Eugeni, “the technology we are using is still experimental, needs improving, but until ten years ago such results were unimaginable.”

Simona Palmas

Last update: 2012.04.20 6:03 p.m.

Translation by Cristina Tabbia

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