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Publicado em: 07 Dezembro 2018

Sign Language in Porto subway station

Since October 18, the Aliados station has a translator available for six languages developed by ISEP researchers, the School of Engineering of the P.PORTO

An avatar will answer questions asked by deaf people who use the Aliados subway station in Porto network.

This is a sign language translator created by ISEP, which supports six languages: Portuguese, English, German, Greek, Slovenian and Cypriot. The pilot translator of the European I-ACE   was demonstrated on the floor -2 of the station to partners and students and was attended by João Rocha, President of Politécnico do Porto, Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto, Jorge Delgado, Director of Metro do Porto, and the founder of the Porto Deaf Association, Armando Baltazar.

This is an innovative infrastructure that allows an automatic bi-directional translation between sign language and written speech and works with a simple system of questions.

Paula Escudeiro, ISEP teacher and researcher and one of the coordinators of the written text translator for sign language, explains that the translations respect the semantics of each partner country. "This translation is not fully direct from Portuguese written to sign language, we know that this is a natural language with its own characteristics. Our concern was to make an accurate translation of the grammar rules of each country's own sign language. "

"Projects like this are a fundamental measure to make the Porto metro more inclusive and more comfortable for all users," says the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Metro do Porto, noting that although there are already initiatives created to facilitate usability of the transport network to people with reduced mobility or blind people, this is the first initiative specifically created for the deaf person, so the contribution of Politécnico do Porto is extremely important.

Also the Mayor, Rui Moreira welcomes the initiative and the contribution of Politécnico do Porto to a more inclusive city. "P.PORTO is a fundamental institution, one of the Alladin's lamps  in the city of Oporto, which lights up with good ideas," he says, stressing that there is a common role here that is a strategic thinking for a better city. "It is the inventiveness and entrepreneurship of the Politécnico that we seek to convert as a common strategy for the city," he concludes. "Projects like these are an example of our desire to transfer knowledge to society," says the President of Politécnico do Porto. "In addition to the training mission, Higher Education has the duty to produce knowledge and make it available to civil society. At the Politécnico do Porto, we reaffirm this mission, given the characteristics of our applied research, very oriented towards the resolution of real problems, "he says, noting that a set of activities will soon be developed that will reinforce this component of the institution mission. The project will be available for three months. The goal in the future will be to replicate the idea not only for public transport, but also for public services, schools and local authorities.

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