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Fact Sheet #11 Captioning Eyeglasses for Theaters

Prepared by: Linda S. Heller, M.A.C.C.C.A.,C.M.
Audiologist/President
Hearing Loss Association of America-Wilmington Chapter
www.hlade.org (302) 292-3066 (Ph/Fax)
hlade@comcast.net (Email)

Regal Cinemas' new Sony Entertainment Access Glasses bring the rest of the story to the screen to 6,000s creens due to advocacy by the Hearing Loss Association of America & others to the Federal Communications Commission.

Also, Regal Cinemas CEO Randy Smith Jr., whose 23-year-old son Ryan is deaf, told NPR last month that it has been his goal since 1998 "to develop a technology that would allow accessibility to the deaf and blind for every show time, for every feature."

The new Sony devices also come with optional audio tracks on headphones that describe what's happening in the movie for blind and visually impaired people.

Hard-of-hearing patrons can also boost the volume of the sound to hear details better. The Los Angeles Times reports the glasses cost theater owners $1,750 for both a receiver and transmitter, but are offered free to customers.

The return on the investment likely wouldn't take long, either, as deaf and hard-of-hearing movie fans may start going to the theater more.

According to the Times, more than 38 million Americans -- roughly one in eight people -- have some level of hearing disability, and only 34 percent of them went to a movie theater at least once last year.

Overall, 72 percent of Americans went to the movies at least once in 2012.

To see a video on how the Sony glasses work go to:Theater Captioning Eye Glasses - Reghal Cinemas OR Theater Captioning Eye Glasses - on YouTube

Captioning Eyeglasses for Theaters

Barriers for Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened Theatre-Goers 1. Can't hear dialogue where there are whispers, creepy whispers or soft voices

2. Plot details are sometimes left to voiceovers

3. Animated characters or people with accents and/or rapid speech are impossible to lipread and/or understand

4. Captioning not word for word or spelled correctly

5. Requires tremendous mental, visual and hearing concentration creating significant strain on the deaf or hard of hearing person

6. Miss key words, plots especially when sound is very loud and/or has background noise in the movie or in the theatre

7. The glasses also have small black boxes on the sides, blocking your peripheral vision, so if you take a date they might feel ignored for a couple hours< br>
8. The devices work best if you're sitting in the middle of the theater, so get there early

9. The glasses may take time for the ticket agent to get or set up, so get to the movie theatre early so you don't hold up the ticket line long and can get into the theatre for a choice seat!

10. You may want to call ahead to make sure you can get the glasses. They're available for every movie!

What hearing Impaired Viewers Say ABout Captionuing Eye Glasses

1. I enjoyed every aspect of the experience!

2. I was able to relax instead of exhausting my senses to understand what I could!
3. I actually understood every plot twists!

4. Wow- I understand all the quips and jokes!

5. I read descriptions of non-verbal audio, such as "(heavy breathing, panting)" i.e. as there is a chase through a red jungle by a planet's primitive inhabitants.

6. I could laugh and have the same emotional responses to movie as everyone else.

7. It has had a positive effect on relationships as we don't have to ask family or friends to repeat a lot of key words or describe what happened interrupting their enjoyment of the movie . It is frustrating for family and friends to have to go over the movie again. They get tired of constantly going over and repeating things!

8. You are now able to discuss and comment appropriately on the movie with other people and not be embarrassed as others talk about a movie and they know you saw it but you are not able to comment because you missed the part they are talking about.

9. Get more bang for your buck because you pay full price like everyone else but never got the full benefit or enjoyment of movies.

10. Now you go to more movies because you enjoy it!

11. Many people with hearing loss are going to movie theatres for the first time in their life or much more often!

Hof do I Get Them At The Theater and How Do They Work?

1. You ask for the glasses at the ticket window when you buy your ticket.

2. The ticket agent will get a pair of glasses and set it up.

3. You sign a log in sheet with your name and what movie you are seeing.

4. Proceed to the movie you want to see AND try to sit near the middle of the theatre.

5. Put the glasses on like regular glasses. The spectacles fit like 3-D glasses, but instead project text of the actors' dialogue and descriptions of various sounds about 10 feet in front of the user.

6. Adjust your head angle to best see the captions but you have to be looking at the screen.

7. To adjust the size of the caption, push the button on the receiver that says "small, medium and large.

8. Enjoy the movie and turn the captioning glasses back in to the ticket agent before you leave the theatre!!!

   For further information on any aspect of hearing loss contact Hearing Loss Association of America - Delaware at 302-292-3066 (V/relay) or email hlade@comcast.net.

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Hearing Loss - An Issue of National Health Concern

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