In a move toward accommodating all of its patrons, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, AMC Theatres recently announced that it reached an agreement with the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) to provide closed captioning systems on all of its digital screens in its 24 New York State theaters within one year.
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AMC Theatres Become Leader in Closed Captioning Services
The New York captioning initiative is part of AMC’s program to eventually provide closed captioning services to all of its theaters across the United States. The movement toward closed captioning theaters is in conjunction with AMC’s national conversion to digital cinemas. Personal captioning equipment will be available to patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing at specific digital cinemas, with rolling installation programs taking place throughout the country over the next, few years.
The closed captioning services provide dialogue, musical cues, speaker identification, narration, key sound effects and other auditory information through a personal display device; therefore, the captions are only visible to the desired patrons and not to the rest of the audience.
AMC Theatres sought the help of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), an advocacy and membership organization, during the installation of the captioning equipment in New York as to ensure the equipment and services met the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
“We think this can be a national model for enhancing the viewing experience of moviegoers with hearing loss,” said HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall.
The Hearing Loss Association of America
The HLAA, which was founded in 1979, provides information, education, advocacy, and support services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The HLAA advocates for the rights of people with hearing loss through its large network of chapters and state organizations across the country.