This press release is available in Spanish.
This company, Aptent Be Accesible!, which is just one year old, has already developed its own software (its registration is pending) for creating and reproducing different types of simultaneous access in the theater, which grew out of experience acquired during previous projects carried out at the Centro Español de Subtitulado y Audiodescripción (CESyA – Spanish Center for Subtitling and Audio description) and in the Centro de Tecnología para la Discapacidad y la Dependencia del Parque Científico UC3M. (Technology Center for the Handicapped and Dependents in UC3M's Science Park) "We are incorporating technologies like automatic voice recognition, speech synthesis or natural language processing to make the services offered more efficient", comments the engineer Javier Jiménez Dorado, Director of Aptent. "And for the next season– he states – we hope to have mobile applications that will allow us make innovations in the way we distribute and present accessibility to the end users, taking advantage of the widespread use of these devices".
For the moment, the company has already made approximately ten works accessible via the Teatro Accesible (Accessible Theater) initiative, for which Aptent was in charge of making several theaters accessible through the use of subtitles, audio description and magnetic induction systems. This pioneering project, which receives support from the Fundación Vodafone España (Vodafone Foundation – Spain) and the Asociación Psiquiatría y Vida (Psychiatry and Life Association), is, for the first time, establishing accessibility for a full theatrical season (December 2011 to June 2012) in two Madrid theaters (La Latina and Bellas Artes Theaters). This means opening the door to culture and leisure for individuals with sensorial handicaps, who previously could not attend such events or who missed out on many of the performances' details.
Improvements in accessibility
The use of voice technology and the company's own accessibility management software makes the process of adaptation and reproduction of plays faster and more efficient. This is because the solution to many of the existing barriers in the areas of accessibility and the handicapped was not so much a matter of technological viability, but rather one of economic viability. Jiménez points out, "We make these services more efficient and, therefore, less expensive by incorporating improvements in the process of creating and distributing accessibility."
Aptent Be Accessible! is a business project that receives support from the Business Incubator of the UC3M Science Park; it is a clear example of how new innovative companies and, in this case, an academic spin-off can be created based on the research work that is being carried out in scientific parks. This technology based company provides accessibility services, manages concrete projects related to sensorial handicaps, and does research on the creation and development of new solutions through its R + D+i area. Its activity is focused on the development and delivery of accessibility services (subtitling, audio description, sign language, etc.) in any area of daily life, such as the theater, cinema, education, events, television, radio, internet, etc.
Aptent web (http://www.aptent.es)
Business Incubator in the UC3M Science Park Web (http://www.uc3m.es/portal/page/portal/investigacion/parque_cientifico/vivero_empresas)
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