Rochester, NY (August 9, 2014) — Starting at 1 pm today, approximately 50 Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Hearing people will attend Regal Theatre 18, 525 Marketplace Dr., Rochester, NY to advocate for ALL movie screens to have captioning whenever a Deaf or hard of hearing person goes to the theater.
New York State regulation mandates there be a choice of on-screen captioning (Digital Captioning) and off-screen captioning with (Closed Captioning Glasses, Rear View Captioning and other devices). However, the choice of any on-screen captioning has faded as there are almost no theaters who offer it in the area with the largest Deaf community in the nation, per capita. Currently, the only option is to have a group of 10 or more Deaf people contact the theater ahead of time to ask for on-screen captioning. This is not equal access as hearing people can go to the movies whenever they want without having to make special arrangements.
Closed-Captioning Glasses are not comfortable nor do they always work correctly. Advocates want the theater to be aware that when Deaf and hard of hearing individuals have to use uncomfortable and inefficient technology to see a movie, it is not equal access as hearing people are not required such encumberments.
The Rochester Deaf community wants On-Screen captioning available for all movies when at least one deaf or hard of hearing individual attends the theater.
On-screen captioning is not just good for the Deaf and hard of hearing. Research shows that the average movie goer, including people learning English as well as those with English as a second language, can benefit from captioning. And YouTube statistics show that 80% of the viewers who are not deaf or hard of hearing are watching captioned movies online. Everyone wants them.
This action is intended to show Regal 18 management as well as their corporate headquarters that using Closed-Captioning Glasses is not good for anyone, particularly as this decision was made without input from the Rochester Deaf community.
For more information, please contact Dean DeRusso by phone at 585 730-1677 (text preferred) or by email at fe*******@gm***.com.