National Park Service Adds Assistive Technology System
Assistive audio solution enables all guests to enjoy the experience of
our National Park Service
Softeq Development Corporation is proud to announce the completion of the
Durateq(r) Assistive Technology System offering assistive listening and
audio description at the New River Gorge National River (U.S. National Park
Service) Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing, West Virginia. The New River
Gorge team wanted to make their visitor center experience accessible to all
guests and partnered with Design & Integration, Inc. and Softeq for their
"We applaud the National Park Service for their Accessibility Initiative
to build a universal experience for all their visitors. We successfully
teamed with Design & Integration to create a customized assistive technology
solution for this inaugural location," said Trey Litel, Vice President of
Softeq. "The spectacular Canyon Rim Visitor Center is outfitted with our
Durateq ATV system which delivers automatic audio description and assistive
listening for all visitors to enjoy!"
Originally developed for the Walt Disney World theme park, the Durateq
Assistive Technology Version (ATV) handheld devices with its ALiCE
(Assistive Listening and Captioning Engine) software makes the visitor
center experience accessible to anyone requiring audio or visual assistance.
The system provides audio description (AD) for visitors who are blind or
have low vision, and assistive listening (ALS) for visitors with hearing
loss. The audio content is triggered automatically, synchronized with the
videos in the visitor center's theatre, and even provides some navigational
"We are pleased that the New River Gorge National River Canyon Rim
Visitors Center is making its information accessible to people with vision
loss through descriptive audio tours," said American Foundation for the
Blind (AFB) National Technology Associate, Brad Hodges, who helped user test
the new tour. "Softeq's technology demonstrates a creative and flexible
approach to presenting narration in a large museum environment."
"The technological solutions available today from companies like Softeq
and others make this an exciting time to provide more effective
communication for our visitors," said Michele Hartley, Media Accessibility
Coordinator for the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior.
"The doors for providing more independent and universal access are opening
more each day."
The Durateq ATV is the most advanced assistive handheld solution
available today that helps public venues meet Title II and Title III of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
"We had a great experience developing our first audio description tour
for Softeq's versatile Durateq ATV system. Its infrared emitters combined
with its audio menu feature gave us exceptional flexibility to deliver
spot-on descriptions for visitors who are blind or have low vision," said
Bill Patterson, CEO of Audio Description Solutions.
About New River Gorge National River
New River Gorge National River, near Charleston, WV, encompassing over
70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural
history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/neri.
About Canyon Rim Visitor Center
Canyon Rim Visitor Center is in Lansing (north of Fayetteville), WV, and
primary purpose is to act as a visitor contact station for area information
and for interpretation of the natural, cultural, recreational, and historic
values of the New River Gorge. For more information, visithttp://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/crvc.htm.
Softeq Development Corporation
Headquartered in Houston, TX, Softeq specializes in software services,
system integration, product development, and assistive technology for
Fortune 500 companies worldwide. For more information, visit www.softeq.com.
Design & Integration, Inc.
Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, DI is a full-service audiovisual
integration firm specializing in AV engineering and design services, custom
installation solutions, equipment sales, maintenance, and control system
programming for a variety of venues. For more information,
Audio Description Solutions
Located in New Oxford, Pennsylvania, ADS provides audio description
services and audio description training to a wide variety of clients across
the United States. ADS has over 30 years experience writing, editing,
narrating, and recording objective descriptions for film, video and
interactive multimedia products used by visitor centers, museums, and live
theatre. Please visit www.audiodescriptionsolutions.com.
Source: Softeq Development Corporation