All Celebration! Cinema sites to carry captioning devices for deaf

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Celebration! Cinema says its equipping all of its theaters with closed captioning devices, after a deaf man filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company.

Celebration! Cinema said all 11 of its theaters will carry closed captioning devices by mid-October. The theater chain also plans to upgrade assistive listening and add descriptive audio for visually impaired visitors by that date.

A spokesman for Celebration! Cinema earlier told 24 Hour News 8 the company was working to get closed captioning devices at its Benton Harbor theater well before last month’s lawsuit.

Attorneys for Graham Forsey said Celebration! Cinema violate Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide closed captioning for the movies it shows, despite repeated requests.

Celebration! Cinema disagreed.

“It’s not a law, but it’s a service you want to give to your guest,” said Steve VanWagoner, Celebration’s vice president of marketing and public relations.

The closed captioning device will attach to the seat cup holder and feature a flexible arm so users can adjust the angle of the text display screen. Descriptive audio allows blind and visually impaired theater visitors to hear descriptions of actions, settings, scene changes within a movie through a headset.

Celebration! Cinema says its North and Studio C locations already have the technology.

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