Categorized | Entertainment

New law requires movie chains to offer open captioning and audio descriptions in theatres

MEDIA RELEASE

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will play at 12:15 p.m. Saturday (Jan 2) at the Ward Theatres and will be the first open captioning and audio description movie showings for deaf and visually impaired movie goers under the new law.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will play at 12:15 p.m. Saturday (Jan 2) at the Ward Theatres and will be the first open captioning and audio description movie showings for deaf and visually impaired movie goers under the new law.

Honolulu, Hawaii – A bill introduced by Kauai Representative James Tokioka (Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao), and signed into law by Governor David Ige will make Hawaii the first state in the nation to accommodate for the hearing and visually impaired at movie theatres statewide.

HB1272 requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the state to provide open captioning during at least two showings per week of each motion picture that is produced with open movie captioning. It also requires them to provide an audio description of any motion picture that is produced and offered with audio description. The measure takes effect Jan. 1, 2016 and sunsets Jan. 1, 2018.

The law allows equal access to movie theaters for the deaf, blind, deaf/blind and hard-of-hearing communities. It also brings Hawaii closer to achieving full inclusion for our deaf and blind communities that was first initiated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

The law removes communication barriers and provides equal access to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have poor vision through reasonable accommodations at movie theaters. It will also help seniors who have trouble hearing, as well as individuals who are learning English as a second language by providing the written dialogue on screen.

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