Cinemark Audio Description Settlement Agreement

The settlement agreement posted here is a result of Structured Negotiations between the California Council of the Blind, Cinemark patrons with visual impairments, and Cinemark, a leading domestic and international motion picture exhibitor. Linda Dardarian, of the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen and Dardarian, and the Law Office of Lainey Feingold worked with the blind community on this initiative. Audio Description provides vocal description of key visual aspects of a movie, such as descriptions of scenery, facial expressions, costumes, action settings, and scene changes, described audibly during natural pauses in dialogue or critical sound elements. Narration of these elements is then woven into the soundtrack of the program or film, so that the finished version is a mix of program audio and descriptive narration. The description, which is provided by movie studios, is available only to members of the audience who choose to receive it via personal headsets and a receiver provided at the theater. Read more…

Cinemark Installing Audio Description Technology Across the United States

CINEMARK ANNOUNCES GREATER MOVIE THEATRE ACCESSIBILITY FOR CUSTOMERS WHO ARE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED Cinemark LogoSeptember 27, 2012 – Plano, Texas Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), one of the world’s largest motion picture exhibitors, today announced that it is providing an audio description option for people who are blind or have visual impairments in all of its first-run theatres. Cinemark is installing audio description systems on a rolling basis across its circuit in conjunction with the chain’s conversion to an all-digital format. Installation is already well under way, and all of Cinemark’s theaters in California already have audio description capability. Cinemark will be able to offer audio description at all of its first-run theaters by mid 2013. Read more…

ADA Twentieth Anniversary Rule Making from Department of Justice

Breaking News Update! The U.S. Department of Justice has published Advanced Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on four issues of importance to the disability community. Earlier News Update! The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that on July 26 it will issue Advanced Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on four issues of importance to the disability community. The Notices will address web accessibility for entities covered by the ADA, movie captioning and video description, accessibility of next generation 9-1-1, and accessibility of equipment and furniture in covered entities. Read more…

Federal Appeals Court Victory for Blind Movie Goers

[quote from=”Ninth Circuit Opinion in State of Arizona v. Harkins”]We disagree with Harkins that captioning and descriptive narration fall outside the ADA as a matter of law. As stated previously Plaintiffs are seeking an auxiliary aid, which is specifically mandated by the ADA to prevent discrimination of the disabled.[/quote]Great news for visually impaired movie goers! On April 30, 2010 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that audio description is “clearly” an “auxiliary aid and service” under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This ruling revives an Arizona lawsuit against the Harkins movie theater chain that had been thrown out of court in 2008. The plaintiffs can now continue their case against the Harkins chain for the company’s failure to provide audio description at its theaters. The case can also go forward on claims brought by deaf and hearing impaired theater-goers for captioning. Read more…

Advocacy Groups, DOJ, Screen Actors Guild Support Audio Description in Movie Theaters

On January 13, 2010, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear oral argument in an important case regarding the rights of movie-goers with visual and hearing impairments. The appeal challenges a 2008 District Court decision out of Arizona holding that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require theaters to install descriptive video equipment. The Law Office of Lainey Feingold and co-counsel Linda Dardarian filed an Amicus Brief explaining that the court’s decision should be reversed. Read more…