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published by L’Unione sarda on 2012/04/11

 We have to thank the Association onA.I.R. as well as the Cagliari Association “Terra di Mezzo 2000” for this initiative. “OltreSuoni” will offer the real-time subtitling of radio programs. An experimental project to allow the deaf to follow radio programs. “OltreSuoni” is the name of the initiative, for which we have to thank the International Association onA.I.R. as well as the Cagliari Association Terra di Mezzo 2000. It consists in the real-time subtitling of an online radio station for the benefit of the deaf and of those with a limited knowledge of Italian, such as recent immigrants. The technique used is called “respeaking”: an operator listens to a source text and at the same time repeats it, reformulates it or translates it while dictating it to a speech recognition software which, in turn, elaborates the vocal input transforming it into a written text. Due to their inability to follow radio programs in real time, the deaf are also unable to take part in related debates taking place on social media or other telematic instruments. This is the reason behind the decision to launch a project which aims at creating a radio station accessible to less fortunate categories, such as the deaf, in order to help finding solutions which will in time fill the existing communication gap; thanks to a multiplier effect, our project can then be systematically applied to major radio stations, especially the ones offering a public service. The radio station taking part in this trial is the web-radio of the Association TDM 2000, “RadioXCaso”. The contact person for the project is Michele Demontis. The trial period will be of six months and will involve 20 persons of different age and social background, evenly chosen under people of normal hearing and people with hearing impairments or a limited knowledge of the Italian language. The trial subjects shall follow specific programs broadcasted both in traditional mode and with subtitles and shall discuss them by sharing their opinions and perspectives. The project will be officially presented on April 20 in the Town Hall.


Paolo Loche

Translation by Cristina Tabbia

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