Coming soon to a movie theater near you – open captioning. And it is not just for the hard-of-hearing.
Delaware movie theaters will increase access for deaf and hard-of-hearing moviegoers by offering regular showing of first-run movies using open captions on the screen.
Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that currently has a law requiring a certain number of showtimes to have open captioning. But before introducing legislation here, State Rep. Ed Osienski (D-Newark) is launching a statewide pilot-program in partnership with advocates and movie theaters to offer open captions.
“Imagine being in the middle of a movie, and having your device stop, they don’t stop the movie for you,” Osienski said. “You have to get up and find somebody, get the service, get a new device, get back, and you’ve missed a bunch of the movie.”
Daphne Werner teaches at the Delaware School for the Deaf, and brought the issue to Osienski’s attention. They and others gathered at the Penn Cinema on the Riverfront Monday for an open captioning demonstration.
“Open captions benefit everyone, not just the deaf and hard-of hearing,” she said. “Whether it’s deaf or hard-of-hearing residents, children, individuals with learning disabilities, English language learners, or there are people who just enjoy captions to better understand the dialogue.”
The new movie CODA had a huge night at the Oscars. Actor Troy Kotsur accepted the academy award for best supporting actor, making him the first deaf male actor to win an acting Oscar while CODA won best picture. NBC10’s Tm Furlong has more on what this win means members of the deaf community.