Commentary: Time has come for open captions at movies

How often do you go to the movies?

For many people, going to the movies is a relatively inexpensive form of entertainment and escapism. However, millions of Americans have limited access to the joys of the silver screen. Despite the protections offered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, many deaf and hard-of-hearing movie patrons still struggle to access and fully enjoy movie showings.

While some movie theaters offer closed-captioning devices, there are numerous problems with them. First, these devices are limited in number. Suppose a group or a large family of deaf/hard-of-hearing patrons want to watch the same movie.

These devices are often broken, left uncharged or glitchy. For example, patrons may be frustrated when their device, rather than displaying the captions for the movie they are viewing, is showing the dialogue for the movie in the theater next door. They also create an uncomfortable moviegoing experience.

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* Written by By Daphne Werner, a DSD teacher.