HLAA Applauds Cinemark Settlement in Arizona

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HLAA Applauds Cinemark Settlement in Arizona

Mon, 07/23/2012

Hearing Loss Association of America is thrilled to learn Cinemark in Arizona will provide neckloops and receivers to patrons. Resulting from a lawsuit brought by the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, this settlement agreement is, to the best of our knowledge, the first time neckloops are being provided in commercial movie theaters. However, with the 2010 ADA Standards now in place, we expect to see more theaters adopting neckoops and looping technology. We commend Cinemark for providing this access to patrons, for committing to maintaining the equipment in working order, training staff and making efforts to ensure the community knows about the availability of the neckloops in their theaters.

The Arizona Attorney General’s new release, in part:

(PHOENIX Thursday, July 19, 2012) -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and Cinemark Holdings, Inc. have announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division in June 2011 that will improve access for the theater chain’s hearing-impaired customers.

The terms of the Settlement Agreement will expand access to the dialogue, sound effects, and sound track of first run movies, independent films, and other performances shown at Cinemark’s theaters during the peak season for summer blockbuster movies.

“Everyone, regardless of a disability, should have the opportunity to enjoy the widest variety of entertainment options available,” Horne said. “I commend Cinemark Theaters for providing customers who are hard of hearing with the necessary devices to give the hearing-impaired more options and for the cooperative way in which it worked to resolve the lawsuit.”

Cinemark agreed effective June 30, to equip its six Arizona theaters with neckloops and receivers, making the devices available at Century 20 El Con, Century Gateway 12, Century Park Place 20 and XD, Century Theatres at Oro Valley Marketplace, Cinemark 10 (Sierra Vista), and Cinemark Mesa 16. Cinemark also agreed to track the demand for neckloops and obtain more, if necessary, to meet the actual demand generated by customers using the devices. Cinemark will also train its staff to ensure that they can assist guests to locate the neckloops when they arrive, learn how to operate them, and troubleshoot if there is any problem using them. Cinemark agreed to take steps to market the availability of the neckloops, including sending informational notices to various agencies serving the deaf and hard of hearing community, posting signs in the lobby and box office window, and indicating neckloop availability on its website with this symbol:

With the addition of neckloops, Cinemark offers a full range of devices for the hard of hearing and deaf customer including closed caption devices (for movies produced with closed captions) and standard and neckloop assistive listening devices (for any movie or performance).

For the full news release, see http://www.azag.gov/press_releases/july/2012/120719_Cinemark_Settlement.html