A night out at the movies is hard to enjoy when you suffer from hearing loss. Whether it’s a hard time following what the actors are saying or difficulty using the closed-captioning glasses, going out to see a movie usually isn’t an ideal activity for someone with hearing damage. The good news, though, is that advancements are being made to give new options to the hearing impaired when they go to the movies.
Assistive Listening Devices
Most movie theater chains, including AMC Theaters, offer moviegoers a number of assisted listening devices (ALDs) to enhance and amplify the sounds during a movie. AMC associates will connect the device in your auditorium and give you the ability to control the volume. This is especially helpful for those who are hard of hearing but don’t currently use a hearing aid.
Movie theaters also provide rear-window closed captioning services and subtitle glasses. These devices allow an individual to read subtitles – either on a small screen that fits in a cup holder or in glasses that are large enough to fit over their regular glasses – and follow along with the movie. These devices are readily available if you ask for them; though you should call ahead to make sure there aren’t any issues that might prevent you from getting them. However, while these assistive listening devices might sound like a good bet, they don’t always work perfectly…
New Policies for Open Captioning
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires movie theaters to provide a way for people with hearing impairments to enjoy a movie. The problem? Most theaters fulfill this obligation with the above mentioned closed captioning devices that can only be seen with heavy devices. Neither the closed captioning devices nor the glasses that go with them have a spotless record of working the way they’re supposed to, which causes a lot of frustration for moviegoers.
That’s why some movie theaters now provide open captions for certain movie showings, while states such as Hawaii require at least two showings per week, per movie with open captioning. This eliminates the need for closed captioning devices and allows people with hearing loss to truly enjoy the movies.
Apps for the Hearing Impaired
While just about every movie theater will tell you not to use your phone during the movie, there should be an exemption forapps like Cinema Connect and MobileConnect. These apps allow the user to connect their headphones to their smartphone and enhance the movie’s audio through the app. They can control the volume, as well as the softness or deepness of the sound, to create the perfect individual audio settings. Again, these apps are best for people who have some hearing loss but do not rely on hearing aids in their daily lives.
Hearing Aids Are the Best Option
However,hearing aids still provide the best option for the hearing impaired while they’re watching a movie. Hearing aid technology has come a long way over the past few years, with advancements made in their ability to filter out background noise. This means you won’t have to listen to people whispering and can instead focus on what’s happening in the movie.
Are you ready to start enjoying a night out at the movies again? Find a hearing aid specialist in your area and set up a consultation. You’ll get information about hearing aids, how they work, and what the best device would be for your individual situation. A hearing specialist can also give you more options on how to enjoy activities, like going to the movies or seeing a play, while suffering from hearing loss.