For the second consecutive year, Madrid City Council is bringing the Christmas lights to everyone through the mobile application "Navidad Accesible Madrid", which allows people with visual and intellectual disabilities to enjoy the traditional Christmas lights.
This system has been developed by professors and researchers from the Human Language and Accessibility Technologies Group (HULAT), belonging to the Department of Computer Science at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, whose work focuses on carrying out R+D+i projects related to natural language processing technologies, information retrieval and extraction in different domains, response search systems, usability and accessibility in user interfaces.
The application makes it possible to follow a guided route through the Christmas lights based on a system of audio descriptions, i.e. audios that narrate to people what is being shown in front of them. This application works when the user activates their phone's location system near the lights included in the application. At that moment, the geolocation system is activated and the audio description is played, providing information about the scenes represented by the lighting, the colours, the sensations they transmit and additional information about their creation and designers. In addition, the application allows this information on Madrid's lighting without having to move around by searching through the list of available streets.
In this year's version, the app has increased to 31 points of visit, including emblematic places such as Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Gran Vía or Plaza de España, recently reopened. As a new feature this year, the application has incorporated the possibility of taking guided tours, an option of four routes with which you can consult the lights of the same environment grouped together to make the walk more comfortable and easier. As last year, there are three formats for audio descriptions. Two of them are designed for adults, with synthetic voice and real voice, and the third is an option for children, with children's narrators and clear and simple language, adapted to them.
"Navidad Accesible Madrid" is free and available on both Android and iOS. It can also be found by searching for "Navidad Accesible" in any of the app shops.
RTVE's programme "En Lengua de Signos" echoes the 10th AMADIS Congress on accessibility in the audiovisual media.
You can watch the programme at https://www.rtve.es/play/videos/en-lengua-de-signos/24-10-21/6152700/
Desde septiembre de 2021 y con una duración de 3 años, en el grupo HULAT vamos a trabajar en el proyecto “Accesibilidad cognitiva y sensorial a los sistemas de videoconferencia (Access2Meet)” (PID2020-116527RB-I00, Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad).
The HULAT group collaborates in the organisation of the 10th Edition of the AMADIS Congress
In the HULAT group, we launch a new project. Project “Cognitive and sensory accessibility to video conferencing systems (ACCESS2MEET)" , Convocatoria 2020 Proyectos Generación del Conocimiento y Retos Investigación.
From September 22 to 24, the Spanish Computer Science Conference (CEDI 20/21), will be held in Malaga. HULAT group will participate in different conferences within CEDI 20/21.
We will participate in the First Workshop on Current Trends in Text Simplification (CTTS-2021) within the Spanish Society for Natural Language Processing (SEPLN 2021) conference; Rodrigo Alarcon will present the work “Exploration of Spanish Word Embeddings for Lexical Simplification steps”. In addition, the work “Designing and Evaluating a User Interface for People with Cognitive Disabilities” will be presented at the International Human-Computer Interaction (Interaction 20/21) conference.
People with intellectual, language and learning disabilities face accessibility barriers when reading texts with complex words. To offer support to these reading aids, a lexical simplification system for Spanish has been developed and is presented in this article. The system covers the complex word identification task and offers replacement candidates with the substitute generation and selection task. These tasks have followed machine learning techniques and contextual embeddings using Easy Reading and Plain Language resources, such as dictionaries and corpora. These findings represent an additional advancement in the lexical simplification of texts in Spanish and in a generic domain using easy-to-read resources. The article is by Rodrigo Alarcon, Lourdes Moreno and Paloma Martínez from the HULAT group in the EASIER project.
Entrevista de radio en "Hoy por Hoy" de la SER a Lourdes Moreno del grupo HULAT por el proyecto EASIER, un sistema de simplificación léxica en español para hacer la información accesible a las personas con discapacidad intelectual financiado por INDRA y Fundación Universa. En este proyecto se han utilizado técnicas de accesibilidad y de Procesamiento de Lenguaje Natural.