Ill. AG, theater chain reach settlement for handicapped

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 4, 2012


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a settlement on Wednesday with the largest movie theater operator in Illinois, providing access for people with vision and hearing disabilities.

The settlement with AMC Theatres, based in Kansas City, Mo., will give personal captioning services and audio-description technology for movie-goers that have hearing and vision disabilities at all of its theaters and its 460 movie screens.

"This technology will allow people with disabilities to enjoy a movie right alongside their friends and families unlike ever before," Madigan said.

On Wednesday, Madigan was joined by AMC representatives and disability rights supporters at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago to give the details of the settlement. Under the terms of the settlement, by 2014, AMC movie theaters will be equipped with audio-description devices and captioning services. The technology will be available to movie-goers at almost any movie an AMC theater has to offer and at all of the film's listed show times.

Before the agreement, only 21 out of 246 movie theaters in the state offered closed-captioning services and only 10 offered audio-description services.

The agreement came out of concerns brought to Madigan's office in 2010 by Equip for Equality. The group is a federally funded advocacy agency for people with disabilities in the state of Illinois. At the time the concerns were brought to Madigan's attention, only a small fraction of movie theaters offered the technology for showings set at off hours for a limited number of movies.

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