Now Playing in Theaters: Closed Captioning
In an agreement with the Hearing Loss Association of America, AMC Theatres plans to install personalized captioning devices in its digital cinemas throughout New York state.
People with hearing loss will soon be able to better enjoy the movie-going experience in New York.
Last week the Hearing Loss Association of America, in partnership with the nonprofit legal center Disability Rights Advocates, announced an agreement with AMC Theatres to make personal closed-captioning systems available in the company’s 24 theaters in the state within a year.
“As a New Yorker and a movie lover with hearing loss, I am thrilled with this agreement,” Jerry Bergman of HLAA’s Manhattan chapter, which initiated the dialogue with AMC, said in statement. “I look forward to being able to watch more closed-captioned movies at convenient locations and times.”
The closed-captioning systems, available at the company’s digital screens, consist of personal display devices that relay captions in sync with the movie and do not change the movie experience for others in the theater.
“Movie captions convey the dialogue, narration, musical cues, key sound effects, speaker identification, and other auditory information in the form of written text for guests who have significant difficulty hearing the movie soundtrack,” HLAA said.
AMC is installing these systems on a rolling basis in its theaters across the country as the company converts to digital cinema.
The issue of closed captioning is also at the center of a lawsuit brought by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) against the University of Maryland, College Park, over its failure to provide captions of announcers’ commentary during sporting events. The lawsuit argues that Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the university to broadcast closed captioning during these events.
NAD also sued the popular video provider Netflix for failing to provide closed captioning for its online streaming content. In June last year, a Massachusetts judge held that web-only firms are subject to the ADA. Netflix, while admitting no wrongdoing, later agreed to offer 100 percent of the content on its streaming service with closed captioning by 2014.