Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

Accessibility app for live shows

Gala Prompter, a start-up company from Herzelia, Israel, has developed an app called GalaPro, which provides synchronized accessibility and translation services for live theatre shows and movies. The GalaPro app allows persons with visual or hearing impairments to enjoy cultural events on any mobile device. The app was first implemented in several Broadway theatres in New York, and is in the process of expanding to all 23 theatres of the Shubert Organization throughout the United States.

“The accuracy and synchronicity of the slides made it very easy to follow the story on stage. This is the absolute best accommodation for those of us with hearing loss or who are deaf.”

Holly CohenUser of GalaPro
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Accessibility app for live shows
Organisation:Gala Prompter
Country
of Implementation
United States

FACTS & FIGURES

  • 2015: 250 users
  • 2016: 500 users
  • 2017: approximately 3,000 downloads

PROBLEMS TARGETED

People with a hearing or visual impairment do not get an opportunity to enjoy live shows or cultural events in an optimal way since most venues cannot provide the necessary aid or equipment.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

GalaPro provides synchronized accessibility and translation services for any live show or movie. Users can choose from subtitles, closed captioning, dubbing, audio description, and Someone using the application on the phone while being in the theatre.amplification as well as access show information, read the program, watch a movie trailer, and buy tickets online – all in their own language. All services are provided in real-time using voice recognition technology. GalaPro can be used throughout the world on any mobile device.
Whereas existing technologies deal mostly with music recognition or voice, GalaPro uses a voice recognition technology (patent pending) that is first of its kind in providing live, synchronized translation directly to the users own mobile device.
During the pilot process on Broadway in New York in 2016 and 2017, hundreds of people with disabilities have used and tested the product and thousands more are expected to benefit from it. The company is in the process of officially launching the product in 17 Broadway theatres, and has finalized terms with the Shubert Group, the largest U.S. theatre chain, to be integrated into all of their 23 theatres.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

The app is designed to work in many locations and is currently being used in Israel and the United States. GalaPro in the process of negotiating agreements with additional clients on Broadway, in London’s West End, and in other European cities. Moreover, the company has established a partnership with Sound Associates for distribution of the app in the United States and Canada.
The Broadway League in New York (see www.broadwayleague.com/home/ and www.theatreaccess.nyc/) has newly established accessibility standards to provide for all theatres and show productions, and the same process is expected to follow in London.
Gala Prompter is funded by private investors and by grants from the government of Israel. The business model is designed to be for profit, since venues pay for the services. All accessibility services are provided to the end users free of charge (closed captioning, amplification, and audio description).
Someone using the application on the phone while being in the theatre.
FACTSHEET

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