19 May 2004

More cinemas provide closed captioning

Hearing impaired Britons are getting better access to the full enjoyment of a good film in the cinema.

A half a million pounds has been allocated from the National Lottery proceeds for the acquisition of new closed captioning equipment in 71 cinemas across the country.

- Deaf and hard of hearing people have been excluded from the enjoyment of the cinema since the advent of the talkies back in the 1920's. At a time when service providers are preparing for part III of the Disability Discrimination Act, which comes into effect in October 2004, the installation of this equipment greatly expands access and choice for large numbers of deaf and blind and partially sighted people", said Dr John Low, Chief Executive of RNID.

Until now hearing impaired cinema goers have been limited to 22 cinemas nationwide if they want to watch closed captioned or subtitled films. In all, the new funding will provide the necessary equipment for closed captioning to be offered in 1 in 7 British cinemas.

The strengthening of the effort to improve cinema access for hearing impaired consumers is a result of the UK Film Council Cinema Access Programme. A listing of cinemas offering closed captioning may be found online at www.yourlocalcinema.com.

Source: RNID, press release "Lottery boos for captioned cinema", www.rnid.org.uk

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