I love movies. This time of the year is the best if you are a movie fan like me. As much as I enjoy the movies I don’t go as often as I’d like. The reason I don’t go is because I find if very hard hear the dialogue.
As you may know I am hard-of-hearing. I wear hearing aids in both ears. I have what is know has a high frequency hearing loss. This basically means I don’t hear high-pitched sounds at all without my hearing aids and minimally with them. One of the challenges of my hearing loss is clearly hear all the sounds of language. Often I will hear someone is speaking, but will not be able to hear the exact word being pronounced.
I rely heavily on my hearing aids, but they are not like glasses. They help with my hearing, but don’t restore my hearing to the normal range. I use my vision to help understand words. In a dark movie theater it’s hard to use vision. Although the volume in a theater is loud (too loud) I still struggle with understanding the dialogue. If the movie characters whisper or speak with a dialect I struggle to understand what is being said. I lose much of the movie’s meaning because so much of what is said I can’t hear.
For years I have waited until movies were available on DVD so I can use the Closed Caption feature on my TV to display the words on the screen. I love Closed Captions because they allow me to see the words as they are spoken and not rely so heavily on my hearing. I get so much more out of the movie because I see the dialogue.
Last night I went to the movie with my husband. We saw the movie ZERO DARK THIRTY. I try to see all the possible oscar nominated films prior to the Oscars and this one is considered to be a top contender. The articles I’ve read mention the dialogue in the film is very complex. I will say after seeing the movie it is definitely a thinking person’s movie. It’s intense and there is so much information discussed I feel like I need to see it again to get a better understanding.
While looking in the paper to find a place where the movie was showing I noticed something different in the listings. At one of our local theaters offered the movie with a Closed Caption feature. I was thrilled. I told my husband and we set out to the theater that night.
The Closed Captions for the movie was not done on the movie itself, but on a special pair of glasses which use an overhead display feature. After paying our movie fee I was handed a pair of glasses to wear and a receiver. The glasses reminded me of something you would see in a futuristic movie. When the movie began I placed the receiver around my neck and put the glasses on. The results were amazing.
As I looked toward the movie screen just below my vision site were the words from the movie printed in green. As the film began I was able to read all the complicated dialogue including understanding each person who spoke with a dialect. The glasses are not comfortable or attractive, but I didn’t care. To be able to have Closed Captions while in the theater was amazing. Most of the movie is filmed in darkness or dimmed light. I was able to understand word spoken because I could read the words.
Anyone who struggles with a disability understands my glee. There are things that limit the disabled to take part is everyday activities. When technology is used to create devices to allow us to take part in the mainstream its great news. Closed Captioning has made a huge difference in my home viewing and now will make a big difference with my movie viewing too.
Not sure who to thank for this wonderful device, but I will do it anyway. Thank you to the people who understand people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing desire to enjoy movies and to have created something to make it possible.
It’s about time for something like this.
- Are Captioning Glasses Really the Wave of the Future? (lipreadingmom.com)
- Show Us the Captions! Join Me in Supporting Movie Theater Captioning (lipreadingmom.com)
- The Best Apps for Captioning (healthyhearing.com)