Movies theaters and hearing loss

Going to the movies can be challenging for people with hearing loss. Two challenges are the sound in the movie theater can be deafeningly loud and the dialogue too soft.

If you have access to be able to change programs on your hearing aids, a program, to cut down background noise can be set aggressively to help. Or, you might want to wear a noise-canceling head set to cut the sound out altogether. If you have sensitive ears this might be a good option. Many movie theaters offer head phones just for the movie and you control the volume. This works great for cutting down background noise and the dialogue is much easier to understand.

The U.S. Department of Justice issued new rules, effective in January 2017, for movie theater to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act by providing closed captioning for movies. Theaters have until June 2018 to come into compliance. Many movie theaters already offer caption reader. A website called finds theaters with captioning for you. I googled the sight and found most of the main theaters in Anchorage already comply. Please contact the theater to make sure they do before you go, what shows and times are available with the captioning.

There are two captioning that I know of available for theaters. One fits into a theater seat cup holder and has a built-in privacy visor to prevent the captions form bothering those seated around you. You can adjust the arm anywhere you like. Most try to center it at the bottom of the screen like closed captions at home. The other is glasses with caption display. Some people have great luck with the glasses and others not so much. Some find them bulky, heavy on their face and sometime the words are blurry. Others love them.

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