Pittsburgh Movie Theater Sued for Not Providing Captions
Updated: January 4, 2018
Another movie theater company has been sued by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) for not providing captions to a deaf movie-goer.
The plaintiff, Kenneth DeHaan, who is deaf, requested access to captions multiple times at the South Side Works Cinema in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to the lawsuit against Cleveland Cinemas, the larger parent company which owns the theater, South Side Works Cinema refused to provide him captions despite the fact that they do so at other locations owned by the company.
This lawsuit follows a similar case from August, 2016, when the NAD took legal action against a movie theater company in Michigan. The company was sued for not providing captions for a deaf movie-goer but the case was quickly settled and the company agreed to add personal closed captioning devices to all of their locations.
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Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), places of public accommodation, like movie theaters, are required to ensure full and equal access for individuals with disabilities. For deaf and hard of hearing individuals, movie theaters will often provide either personal closed captioning devices or include open captions on the screen.
In a statement released the day of the lawsuit, the NAD’s legal council explained how the ADA applies to this particular case:
“The Americans with Disabilities Act requires movie theaters to ensure full and equal access for individuals, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Michael Steven Stein, an attorney with Stein & Vargas, LLP, one of the firms representing the plaintiffs.
“Going to the movies is an important part of American culture and one that should be accessible to deaf individuals.”
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