From the Editor

Pop corn with soda and movie shows

It is so rewarding to work with community partners who understand that ADA accessibility is more than just regulations. It is good for businesses and it’s the right thing to do. Who wouldn’t want to have a more accessible community, if not for yourself, than for a parent, grandparent, or child you know with a disability.

We have partnered with the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre to raise funds for an accessible stage lift. Over $6000 have been raised thus far.

But they go above and beyond all the time. Without the carrot of tax benefits (they are a non-profit and don’t pay taxes) they have steadily worked towards accessibility for years. They are proud to announce the addition of ADA closed movie captioning and audio description devices for digital films. Through a generous grant from Moscow Women’s Giving Circle, the system will make digital films accessible to persons with vision and hearing disabilities.

Going to the movies is a quintessential American experience. Movie theaters continue to draw more people than all the theme parks and major U.S. sports combined. The captioning makes movies accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and unable to benefit from the sound amplification provided by the assistive listening receivers. This necessary equipment will expand the reach of cinematic programming to the community.

For example, if a hearing and non-hearing person went to the movies before closed captioning, they would both have entirely different experiences. The non-hearing person would watch the screen and simply make up the story in their head. But with the closed captioning devices, they can both see the “same” film and discuss it afterward with an understanding that wasn’t there before.

As a serious film fan myself, I can’t imagine not sharing this experience, because that’s what movie theaters are about, allowing you to share the same experience with everyone else in that dark room. Cinema fandom is alive and well and available to everyone!

Vicki Leeper
vicki@dacnw.org