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senate Bill S. 555

Making Movie Theaters More Accessible for People with Visual or Hearing Impairments

Argument in favor

Going out to a movie theater to enjoy a film should not be limited to those who are not hearing or visually impaired. Everyone should be able to enjoy movies as fully as possible.

Kimberely 's Opinion
···
01/25/2017
I can't believe I have never thought about this. Yes, yes, yes!
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Kumoku's Opinion
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07/21/2018
I would have no issue watching a film in theatre with subtitles if that meant my fellow patrons could enjoy the movie just as much as myself.
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Argument opposed

Movie theaters are already adding these systems to increase accessibility on their own. Compelling change through government mandates makes it more costly for theater operators to implement.

Damian's Opinion
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02/27/2015
What part of privately owned dont people understand? go to a theater that will accommodate your needs if its that good it will put its competition out of business
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Elinor's Opinion
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04/25/2016
Movie theatres now have superior access for people with hearing and seeing impairments. The screens are huge and even the last row of seats is too close to watch comfortably with no resulting eye strain. The sound is nearly always so *#~^! loud that I wear earplugs and we can feel the vibrations. Just how much more is needed?!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedMarch 13th, 2013

What is Senate Bill S. 555?

S. 555 would make it a discriminatory practice for any movie theater with at least two screens to not offer accessibility enhancements for people with visual and hearing problems.

Movie theaters that would be regulated by this act could comply with the change in law by making available open captioning (displaying text on-screen), closed captioning (displaying text on an individual device), and video descriptions (narrations of events on-screen).

Impact

Moviegoers with and without visual and hearing impairment and theater operators.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 555

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note:

Some major movie theaters have already started offering captioning for visual and hearing impaired customers. This push for accessibility came after a court ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should require theaters to offer closed captioning and video descriptions. This ruling also exempts open captioning as an ADA requirement. S. 555 would mandate that theaters offer all of these options to moviegoers.


In testimony at a hearing for this legislation, the president of the National Association of Theater Owners observed that operators are currently installing these new technologies as they come available, and are currently constrained by the supply from manufacturers. In 2013 Regal Cinemas announced that they were distributing closed captioning glasses that would expand accessibility at 6000 screens nationwide.


Media:

Sponsoring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) Press Release through Senate HELP Committee

National Association of the Deaf

U.S. Association for Computing Machinery

Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology

NPR

(Photo Credit: Tumblr user CapriaMovies)

AKA

Captioning and Image Narration to Enhance Movie Accessibility Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to require captioning and video description at certain movie theaters.

    What part of privately owned dont people understand? go to a theater that will accommodate your needs if its that good it will put its competition out of business
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    Movie theatres now have superior access for people with hearing and seeing impairments. The screens are huge and even the last row of seats is too close to watch comfortably with no resulting eye strain. The sound is nearly always so *#~^! loud that I wear earplugs and we can feel the vibrations. Just how much more is needed?!
    Like
    Follow
    Share
    I can't believe I have never thought about this. Yes, yes, yes!
    Like
    Follow
    Share
    This should be s no brained under ADA.
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    I would have no issue watching a film in theatre with subtitles if that meant my fellow patrons could enjoy the movie just as much as myself.
    Like
    Follow
    Share