More accessible classrooms with UC3M-Aptent Technology cuadrito



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Students with hearing impairment will be able to access a greater number of educational facilities and follow classes by way of tablets, SmartPhones or intelligent glasses, thanks to a system of accessibility developed by Aptent Soluciones, a spin-off of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).


The project, called “Accesibilidad para estudiantes sordos y con discapacidad auditiva a través de dispositivos móviles y gafas” (Accessibility for deaf and hearing-impaired students via mobile devices and glasses), has been promoted by Madrid’s regional government through the program of pre-commercial public procurement. This technological solution makes educational facilities more accessible and eliminates the communication barriers that hearing-impaired individuals face.

The prototype, whose trial period will begin next academic year at several schools in the Autonomous Region of Madrid, uses automatic speech recognition techniques. The professor is equipped with a microphone for her class. The system transforms this signal into subtitles in real time, and the subtitles are sent to mobile devices used by students, who also get sound through magnetic induction loops. In addition, the content is recorded, and its interpretation into sign language can be incorporated, which makes it easy to review these classes in a later viewing.

“First of all, the student can receive all the information she needs on her SmartPhone or tablet in class, and later, as everything is recorded on a YouTube channel, she can access this platform and see everything that happened in the classroom,” explains Diego Carrero, technology director at Aptent.

The results of this project will benefit the nearly 300 hearing-impaired students enrolled in one of 26 special schools in the Autonomous Region of Madrid. These schools have sign language experts and consultants and teachers specialized in hearing and language (source: Autonomous Region of Madrid Department of Social Affairs).

Aptent Soluciones is a technology-based spin-off consisting of experts in accessibility to communication and new technologies. It originated in the CESyA project, developed in the Technologies for Accessibility Laboratory at the UC3M Science Park. Since its inception, Aptent has been linked to the Science Park Business Incubator, and this collaboration makes it possible to discover opportunities and encourage different synergies, as was the case of this kind of innovative public procurement tendered by the Autonomous Region of Madrid.