[Video description and transcript available below]
Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD CEO, takes a moment to explain the purpose of the Joint Recommendation and the Comment that was filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 1, 2014. Both filings were very important for the deaf and hard of hearing community. With such action, we know that there's work left to be done — with your support, we can continue the fight for equality for access in Movie Theaters! www.nad.org/donate. #givingtuesday
Video description and transcript:
Video fades to soft blue and white background with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo centered. Video fades to white then fades to Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD CEO, in the NAD Headquarters. The NAD logo appears as a light watermark in the bottom right.
HOWARD: Hello, I'm Howard at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Headquarters. Today, I'd like to take a moment to clear up some confusion regarding movie theater captioning. As you may know, the NAD has been battling for the rights for every deaf and hard of hearing person to go into any movie theater at any time any where including online movies. That's why we fought and won the battle with Netflix, recently as of September 2014, Netflix is required to have 100% of their content captioned. So since that point it should be accessible to everyone. I hope you enjoy Netflix! That is the same reason why we're fighting for accessible movie theaters across the country. Keep in mind, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not have clear language regarding captioning, it is weak. For almost 25 years, the NAD has fought diligently on this issue. Most courts rule that captioning is not required– however, there are two kinds of captions I should clarify with you.
One is called closed captioning (CC) and the other is called open captioning (OC). CC is when you go to the theaters and get glasses or a device that you put in front of you, or some of you may remember the old technology of rear view captioning when glasses would reflect the captions from the back but that's old really. Now, that's CC. OC is when you go to the theaters and do not need any equipment, you just go ahead and sit and the OC appears on screen at your ease. Some like CC because it means you can go to the theaters any day, any time while OC means limited showings. We know OC is nice because its shown on the screen with no equipment hassle. Some prefer OC, others prefer CC — so, that's the difference.
Now, movie theaters– or actually I should start with the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is requiring a new rule to be made, and asked what this new rule should look like. The DOJ wants the new rule to focus on CC because historically, courts require CC and not OC. The NAD wants the courts to require OC but for now, CC is required. So the DOJ is following the same path and wants to know what should the new rule for CC look like. The NAD joined other deaf consumer groups with the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) to file a comment that focuses on CC only. Even though it focuses on CC, the NAD made sure that the rule requires 100% captioning, that CC is accessible, asks for technology improvements– we also recommended movie theaters to provide OC movies on request. However, that's not all we did.
We also filed a separate Comment with the DOJ — so there were two filings that happened. This separate Comment focused on OC only with other deaf consumer groups. The Comment explained why OC is important. The Comment asks DOJ to require OC, not just CC alone.
So, again, we did both filings.
We did the first filing to protect the Joint Recommendation itself with assurance that CC was carefully thought out while also advocating for OC with the separate Comment.
We strongly believe that everyone and anyone should be able to go to any movie theaters and enjoy, whether its online, at the movie theaters, or at home– it must be accessible to everyone. Even though we are all different, we believe that accessibility is the number one goal here.
To do that kind of work for almost 25 years and more, ensuring access for every walk of life– to be able to continue advocating rights to enjoy the movies, jobs, quality education, entertainment, hospitals — we need your support. During this wonderful holiday season, in however way you celebrate, safe and happy, I hope you will support the NAD so that we can continue advocating for our rights! Thank you.
Video fades to the same soft blue and white background with the NAD logo centered. Black text below the logo appears, "A production of The National Association of the Deaf (copyright) 2014 All Rights Reserved"