Monday, January 28, 2008

Going Deaf Goes To The Cinema

It was really a great day out today (above 40 degrees!), so my husband and I decided to go on a date. We wanted to see a movie since we had not been in a very long time. I don't go to the cinema often, not only because of my hearing, it's more like I have other things to do. So today was to be a special treat. I called ahead on my videophone to see if what I wanted to see was playing (yes), and was it captioned.

Back in Seattle where I'm from, I had alot of access to deaf and hoh services, so when I went to the cinemas, i was used to asking for headphones or rearview captioning devices. Rearview captioning seems to have not been implemented in my small Illinois town. the lady had no idea what I was talking about. I then asked about headphones to use, and she said yes, they had them for use. I quickly got me and my husband out of the house and we went off to the movie.

We got there, and my husband asked for the headphones for me. After a little bit of aimlessly walking about, the ticket agent decided he should finally ask someone where they were located (it had been about 5 minutes since we had asked). He came back, and there sat a device with one ear bud on it. I thought alright, let's just get to the movie, no fussing.

We got into the theater where the movie was playing, and tried to put the one ear bud into my best ear and listen, but it was nothing but static. i thought well, it must be just because it is the pre-show. So I waited until the feature came on, and I tried again, all different channels. Still didn't work. I sat and watched to movie, got enough of it to understand it, but not fully.

I spoke to the manager who refunded my money, but I didn't even need that. I told her the ear bud was not a great idea, but she informed me it was new. I don't have my hearing aids yet, but I'm pretty sure when I got a theater, i don't want to take one off just so i can put an ear bud in.

The rest of the evening went well, but I just had to post my experience today. I'm saddened by the fact they have a thin veil of accommodation in regards to deaf and hoh patrons. They do not have open caption nights. They said no one came to them, so they stopped doing them. So ask you, if you have a cinema near you who gives you good service and accommodation, let them know you appreciate it. When they have open captioning movie night, go. If people don't go, they will say there is no need. There IS a need. Don't let them take away something they took away from my town.

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