Quantcast

Hawaii theaters first in nation to have open captioning - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Hawaii theaters first in nation to have open captioning

Posted: Updated:
(AP) (AP)

Hawaii is now the first state in the nation to provide equal access to movie theaters for the hearing and visually impaired.

"It's a milestone in our community as well as nationwide for the whole deaf community all over the nation," said Darlene Ewan, Vice President of the Aloha State Association of the Deaf.

The force has awakened and so has Hawaii when it comes to providing the deaf and blind with access to movies. Today at Ward Theaters, dozens turned out to see a showing of Star Wars with open captioning. For some, it's a better alternative to the old ways.

"You don't have to have the glasses on that can be cumbersome. You have to align your head just right to get the captioning," said Billy Kekua, President of the Aloha State Association of the Deaf.

For some hearing-impaired, today was more than just about going to the movies without having to wear special glasses. 

"It really is about accessibility and accepting that the deaf community is here and that we are equal and we want to have equal access," said Kekua.

"Now we don't worry about it at all. We just go into watch a movie like everyone else without feeling we need all these devices and we just like a hearing person a regular person," said Ewan.

The new law goes into effect just in time to see one of the most popular movies of the holiday season.

"Star Wars covers so many generations that this is a great opportunity and a great fit for the first showing of deaf community for open captioning," said Rep. James Tokioka (D) District 15.

For the visually impaired, the bill also requires movie theaters to provide an audio description for the motion pictures through the use of headsets.

"The audio description helps them with understanding whats going on in a particular time during the movie," said Tokioka.

Kauai representative James Tokioka, whose son is hearing impaired, introduced the bill and is proud Hawaii is the first in the nation to recognize the importance of allowing the hearing-impaired with a positive movie-going experience.

"This session we had consensus from both sides of the House and the Senate that it's about time we do something, and I'm excited," said Tokioka.

"Thank you for the legislature and the people that gave testimony at the legislature, all of you for the hard work you've done," said Ewan.

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Slideshows
loading...