This article was written by Terri Shirley, one of the steering leaders of the Kansas City Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Terri and I, along with three others, attended a special screening of “Footloose” this week to test out new closed captioning equipment at our local theater.
Recently a few members of our Hearing Loss Association of America-Kansas City Chapter were invited by AMC Theatres (headquarters in KC) to test the new reader box and system manufactured by a company named DO REI ME. The name of the personal hearing amplification system is Fidelio, also made by DO REI ME.
AMC is replacing their reflective and radio controlled devices with the new reader boxes. ALL theater rooms will be captioned and we will even be able to go to 3D movies that are captioned – Wow!
If you think that is great, don’t go away because the personal hearing amplification system (not pictured) has a plug-in which AMC recommends guests bring their own headphones to plug into the device, however AMC will continue to provide headsets as needed. One of our members brought her ClearSounds CLA7v2 Amplified Power Neckloop Accessory to get a direct connect to her cochlea implant. However, the sound devices are still in testing phase and were not working yet. We anticipate people who own neckloops will be able to enjoy direct connect at the same time using new caption devices. This will be awesome! Sometime next week, our member will go back to test this feature.
If you decide to come to the movies next week, allow a full 30 minutes before the movie starts to be introduced to how to get connected to the sound system and program the reader box for the correct movie theater you are going to be sitting in. AMC listened to our suggestions and will put the directions in writing so you can read how to connect to the device. AMC 30 also liked our suggestion to attach a YouTube video to their Website to explain how all this works. The YouTube would also educate the hearing community when a movie is advertised as closed captioned it does not mean the captions will be seen on the movie screen. The YouTube will also address many of the common questions that the hearing-impaired folks might need to know to make their movie experience go a lot smoother.
The manager of AMC 30 says, “While we will be ready for full Guest use next week/weekend we are still very much in ‘test’ mode, though we feel very good about the new product.” So do we and we think you will too. Please patronize AMC for all the efforts they have put forth to provide us with such nice amenities.