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Going to the cinema

Did you know that Hearing Augmentation systems (such as hearing loops) are required in all places where sound amplification is provided, or public announcements are made? That includes cinemas, theatres and auditoriums. Although more improvements need to be made in this space, here are some tips that might help make your family’s next trip to the movies more enjoyable and inclusive.

Look for the  International Deafness Symbol (top right on infographic) displayed at the cinema to indicate the presence of a Hearing Augmentation System.

Every cinema is different so plan ahead and check with your local cinema to see what systems they have installed and whether they are working.

The types of systems include:

  • Closed captions – captions are delivered via a personal device that is provided by the cinema. It means you can sit anywhere and usually the display can be set up so that it sits just below the big screen in your line of vision. Keep in mind, that you still need to check if session times are tagged as having CC capability and that the devices are charged and ready. Unfortunately, the feedback about these personal CC devices has not always been positive but definitely worth a try.
  • Open captions – captions display on the cinema screen, but sadly, this is not the norm. Some cinemas do run special sessions for this.
  • Hearing Loop – requires hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoil, and the T-switch needs to be turned on. Some cinemas may have the capability of connecting you to the loop in other ways, so it is worth checking. Also, ask where the best seating location is for receiving sound.
  • Infrared Systems – sends sounds to a receiver provided by the cinema – a neck loop for those that wear hearing aids and headsets for those that don’t.

Download the Real Life Tips infographic.

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