The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) has been in lengthy discussions with groups such as the National Association of the Deaf and the Hearing Loss Association of America about the requirements of cinemas to provide captioning and audio description. The outcome has been heralded as a landmark decision, given the previous inability of the groups to reach an accord, sometimes ending in litigation. A recent example of this is the Connecticut Association for the Deaf’s case against Bow Tie Cinemas.
The agreed upon recommendations, which will be submitted to the Department of Justice’s review of guidelines under the Act, include the installation of closed-captioning and audio description equipment in all digital cinemas and a tracking system of device use by patrons.
America’s largest cinema chain, Regal Entertainment Group, is already leading the charge on making US cinemas accessible. Regal is nearing completion on its installation of Sony Entertainment Access Glasses across its entire chain.
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