Now, the hearing impaired can see

THIS TECHNOLOGY BROADENS THEATRE'S REACH TO AN UNTAPPED AUDIENCE AND ENABLES THOSE WITH HEARING IMPEDIMENTS TO ENJOY LIVE THEATRE IN A NEW WAY.

giphy (1).gif. TINK Africa

A most recent statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that,

About 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population ageing and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.
— http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/report/en/

Streamlining disability to hearing, it has been recorded that vver 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people – has disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children). Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40 decibels (dB) in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children. The majority of people with disabling hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries.

For decades people with some form of impairment and even special needs lived in an entirely different world because loads of limitations were left on them. They could not do what every other normal person would do. This dichotomy would have lasted the next decade thanks to technology. In this case, thanks to Samsung who in partnership with Leo Burnette Tailor Made birthed an innovative project titled, ‘Theater For All Ears,’ aimed at making it possible for the deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy live theater without the use of a sign language interpreter. 

The project kicked off in Brazil, in a partnership on May 12 at the Frei Caneca Theater. The play, O Pai (The Father), was attended by numerous people with hearing impairments who found their experience transformed by VR goggles.

Through this, Samsung wants to redefine the experience of live theater for those with hearing impairments using virtual reality. Although the hearing impaired have better access to services and products than ever before, live theater poses difficulties. An app for the Samsung Gear VR headset changes that by providing subtitles for the audience in real time.

According to Andrea Mello, Director of Corporate Marketing and Consumer Electronics of Samsung Brazil, “When we unite the theatre with Samsung technology we can change people’s lives. With this 'Theater For All Ears' initiative, we are offering a differentiated and special experience so that the deaf and hearing impaired can experience a show completely—being able to visualise the scenery, the staging, and the subtitles without losing any detail,”