New rules would require closed captioning in movie theaters

2 years 11 months 3 weeks ago Monday, December 22 2014 Dec 22, 2014 Monday, December 22, 2014 11:10:00 PM CST December 22, 2014 in News
By: Julia Avery, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - In late November a handful of organizations agreed on a list of joint recommendations to recently proposed movie theater captioning changes. Some members of the deaf community said the proposal includes what should have been obvious changes, but it's not always easy for the deaf and hard of hearing to fight for their rights.    

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was implemented to ensure people with disabilities receive public accommodations.

This act brought attention to things such as wheelchair ramps and available braille plates, but what about a disability that doesn't need quite as many accommodations?   

In the state of Missouri there are approximately 90,000 people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Now they are ready to find a way for their needs to be taken seriously. 

"When people think of accessibility and accommodations, they tend to think of wheelchair ramps and that's it," MU Junior Hayden Kristal, who is deaf, said. "It's a lot more than that. I think that now we are starting to expand as a society our definition of accessibility and accommodations. That's really awesome because it means more people will be able to get involved, and stay active, and to have access to things in life that a lot of people take for granted." 

"I am aware that there is a need in the community," Executive Director of Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Opeoluwa Sotonwa said through an interpreter. "With the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in Missouri there is a need. With their families, they want to go see a movie, but they don't have access to it so there is a disconnect. Family events provide connection and when we don't have those closed captions it's hard so a lot of deaf and hard of hearing people do have that disconnect so that's something that we want to change and that is unacceptable."

In July, Attorney General Eric Holder signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Title III regulation and add a requirement for movie theaters to provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. 

After publication of the NPRM, representatives from the Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) held various meetings and eventually reached an agreement on establishing a joint recommendation to the Department of Justice.

Here are the recommendations they decided on:

In the NPRM, the Department of Justice recommended all digital screens be equipped with closed captioning systems, and the collaborative groups agreed. 

The Department of Justice also proposed a formula to determine the number of closed captioning devices each theater should provide based on the number of seats in the complex. The groups decided that this formula treats all theaters equally and instead should consider the number of people who are deaf and hard of hearing in the geographic area in which the theater is located.

For example, Regal Columbia Stadium 14 & RPX Movie Theater said it uses the devices almost every day and currently has 12 total. General Manager Marcus South said there has never been a request for more than about six at a time. A movie theater located in a place with a larger Deaf community, however, might have a need for more.  

More of the recommendations included monitoring consumer demand and adjusting the number of captioning devises based on the numbers. The Joint Recommendations document stated "Requiring a fixed number of devices for all theatres on a mechanical, non-adjustable formula as proposed by the NPRM will result in some theatres having too many devices and some theatres having an insufficient number of devices. This will not benefit consumers or motion picture theatre."

Kristal said more devices would mean more revenue.

"Obviously, if only one theater in the area has [the devices] they get 100 percent of the deaf communities business," Kristal said. "So if you don't have them available you are not taking advantage of a market that you could be. You could be getting that money."

South said as far as he knows the devices do come with a cost.

"They're out of our pocket. When we hand these devices to customers it's just a verbal agreement that 'I'm gonna hand you a piece of equipment that is thousands of dollars, and you're gonna use it, and then you're gonna give it back, we won't charge you and there are no fees'," South said. "Several items have been broken, and we ship them off and get them repaired and sent back for about a thousand bucks."

More details on the Joint Recommendations can be found in the official document

Even if the recommendations are accepted, Sotonwa said it would likely take months for changes to be made in movie theaters. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA (AP) — Police say they have arrested a man charged in an August quadruple homicide that occurred in... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - A two-vehicle car wreck Saturday left one dead and two others injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An event in Columbia today addressed the prevalence of gun violence and misuse of firearms by offering gift... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:04:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A six-year-old held a hot chocolate stand Saturday outside of a Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to help two... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. ... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A furnace malfunction caused a fire in a trailer home on Pratherville Road Saturday morning. Gale... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:05:48 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — People returning to Kansas City after being released from prison will get a 90-day supply... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:25:12 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters responded to a shed fire off of Highway 40 near Rocheport Saturday morning. Boone County... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:04:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some Jefferson City kids are getting the chance at a Merry Christmas this year with the help... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:00:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
1am 46°
2am 44°
3am 43°
4am 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:02a
LX.TV: 1st Look
12:32a
Open House NYC
1:02a
Open House NYC
11:00p
Adventure Scouts
1:00a
Seinfeld
1:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
7:00p
The Christmas Bunny
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy