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Event - Groundbreaking Technology Brings Fashion to Visually Impaired
-LiveDescribe Debuts at Mass Exodus 2006-

Fashion will soon come to life for the blind and visually impaired audience members at Ryerson’s Mass Exodus Fashion Show, on April 6th 2006.  Thanks to “Live Description” technology, visually impaired audience members will be able to hear a vividly detailed description of the show, whether they are present at the event or watching from home via a live web cast.

Currently, video description that is available through the secondary audio programming channel is used to describe some movies, or television programming. However, video description is rarely available for live events in Canada. The combination of video description and colour commentary techniques will bring the essence and excitement of Mass Exodus live to a blind and visually impaired audience for the first time in North America.

With a background in theatre and fashion, LiveDescribe’s speaker, Natalya Ratner will deliver exact and emotional descriptions of set designs, scene changes, costumes and even facial expressions. Brilliant colors, luscious fabrics, and picturesque models will be brought to life in the same fast paced style that is displayed on the runway. Natalya’s commentary will be broadcast on a wireless FM system. Using wireless headsets, blind and visually impaired audience members will hear the live broadcast and experience the show as it happens.

Project Principal Investigator, Deborah Fels and her LiveDescribe team in partnership with the University of Toronto and Heritage Canada are eager to introduce this innovative research to the community. A project that has been in the works since 2005, they hope to have LiveDescribe become part of such live events as concerts, auctions and debates, following Mass Exodus 2006.

LiveDescribe will provide the visually impaired with unprecedented access to fashion shows and events, an opportunity never seen before. Mass Exodus’ partnership with LiveDescribe will set a new standard for the future of live events.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2007 14:39