September 18, 2013

You can't make this stuff up

Movie-house owners -- as well as disability advocates -- are anxiously awaiting the release of an Obama administration proposal that would require theaters to install expensive technology so deaf and blind patrons can enjoy their films.
You read that right...movie theaters may have to accommodate DEAF and BLIND patrons.
The proposal started within the Justice Department’s civil rights division in 2010 and now appears to be getting a White House review, with the final proposal expected to be made public in the coming weeks. The new policy would call for closed-captioning and audio narration technology to be installed, in a change supporters argue will give Americans with disabilities the same quality of experience as other movie-goers. 
If you think movie theater popcorn is expensive now, wait until theaters have to shell out $70k per screen for these changes. 
Seriously, how many DEAF and BLIND people are going to the movies?  How many really want to?  I mean, is this even a thing?  Is there a group of hearing or sight-impaired people that feel like the one thing missing in their life is going to the movie theater?  
Heck, come over to my house.  I will dial up the latest movie available On Demand, and tell you what is going on, or turn on the subtitles for you.  We'll dim the lights and crank up the sound.  I will sprinkle something sticky on the floor for a more realistic experience.  I will even have my kids sit behind the couch and kick it every few minutes.  
No offense to blind people, but how would they ever know that they were actually in front of a screen showing the movie?  Someone could make an $8 soundtrack go really far.

1 comment:

CenTexTim said...

Many years ago I worked in the banking industry. When the ADA was passed we had to retrofit all of our drive-thru ATMs with braille keyboards so blind people could use them. At first we scoffed because blind folks couldn't drive, but then someone pointed out that they might be a passenger. That made a little bit of sense.

However, we monitored the use of the drive-thru ATMs on security cameras. The percentage of passengers who used them was miniscule - less than 1%. So we spent thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars doing something of minimal benefit to our customers, thanks to govt. regulation. Now it's the theater owners' turn.