I’ve written many articles here about Universal Design principals in communities, homes and products, and now I’m thrilled to say that moviegoers who are deaf, hard of hearing, have low vision or are blind can now experience movies at neighborhood theaters. Regal Entertainment Group announced that 200 theaters nationwide will offer the Sony Entertainment Access System.
The system includes specially designed and lightweight eyewear for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing so they can privately view closed captioned text for both 2D and 3D movies. Patrons who have low vision or those who are blind can use this assistive technology with headphones or neck loops to hear descriptive audio tracks. Captions and descriptive audio can only be accessed by this equipment and is not visible or audible to other moviegoers.
The system is available at the Guest Services counter or from any theater manager. To select films offering this service, look for online showtimes noting: “Accessibility Devices Available.”
“Regal is leading the way by providing the best experience available for all of our guests. This technology, designed by the experts at Sony, is revolutionary in terms of greater access for moviegoers,” stated Ken Thewes, Regal Entertainment Group Chief Marketing Officer. “We expect to deploy this equipment to all of our digital cinemas by April and we are encouraged by the positive feedback already received regarding the new technology.”
“With Sony’s entertainment access glasses, a broader range of the moviegoing public can now enjoy exciting movie experiences in a relaxed, natural way without the inconvenience of separate screening times or special seating,” said Dianne LaGuardia, senior marketing manager for digital cinema at Sony Electronics. “We’re proud to be working with Regal to rollout this revolutionary technology.”
Over the years Regal has remained a strong advocate for making movie going accessible to everyone and has become a leader in their industry. Studio partners have responded by making many film titles available for use with this technology.