Fedora celebrated its first year anniversary this past weekend, and to celebrate I decided to take a day off. I wanted to be disconnected from my Apple devices and try something new by way of technology, but without a computer, iPhone or iPad on hand.
You may remember we posted a Tweet about Regal Cinemas being accessible to the blind with audio descriptive movies. I also recalled a friend who is blind telling me he had a great experience when he went to the theaters and watched an audio-described movie. What really had me hooked was the guest featured during our upcoming #AccessChat on June 4th. I knew then I was headed to the theater for a new experience for my day off.
Before I get into the meet of this post, I know you are probably wondering which movie I ended up seeing. It was Hangover 3 and yes, it was hilarious. I did not see Hangover 1 or 2, but if 3 is any reflection of how good 1 and 2 were, then I’ll be sure to go back and check them out.
I took my fiancé, Regina, out on a blind date…literally. I’m blind, she is visually impaired, and we went out for a night on the town. The theater we chose was Regal Cinemas in Atlantic station. The reason I’m telling you this is because this location is awesome! Their customer service and attention to those with disabilities, especially those who are blind, is impeccable. This particular area of town was once filled with over 100 employed blind individuals working at Dialog In The Dark,, so “the station” (as it’s affectionately called) is familiar with seeing lots of blind individuals.
Now for the experience: For our first audio described movie night I really wanted to test out how descriptive the movie was. I chose a comedy for this. My thought was if we could catch the joke and laugh along with the rest of the audience, then this is a good thing. It was amazing, and it truly changed my life forever.
Usually when we go to the movies, we take Shirley, the firms HR Director, with us and go to the drive -in. This time, we went knowing we wouldn’t need anyone telling us what was happening during the silence, what color things were on-screen or the subtle things that may not be noticed by Shirley.
I must warn you though: Get to the theater a little earlier than you normally would, because you must check out your device by leaving an ID with the customer service agent. The device we were given was a little square brick that had a pair of headphones connected to it. You can also use your own headphones, if you’d like.
during an audio-descriptive movie, a narrator, using a very clear voice with appropriate tone and inflection, describes visual aspects of the movie. If the on-screen situation is serious, the narrator will use a serious tone, and likewise, if a character in the movie smiles, the narrator will convey this visual element. Most importantly, the audio description never interrupts the dialogue of your movie. How perfect is that?
The Atlantic Station Regal Theater has 16 showings at this location and, according to the Fandango app, they are all accessible to the blind and hard of hearing. I’m predicting there will be more blind dates in our very near future!
Want to go out on a “blind date” of your own? Don’t even think about choosing a flick before you find out if our friend Tommy Edison (aka The Blind Film Critic) has posted a review for it yet. In fact, join Tommy this Tuesday, June 4th at 8PM EST for #AccessChat, a monthly Twitter chat connecting you with those encouraging, equipping and empowering the blindness community. Get all the details by visiting the official page for #AccessChat.