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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Accessibility Settlement with AMC Movie Theatres Offer Audio Description for Blind and Visually Impaired

California - May 1, 2017 - New reforms at AMC Theatres will give blind movie watchers an experience more like that of sighted patrons, thanks to a recent class action settlement.
Plaintiffs in the AMC Theatres class action lawsuit took issue with the audio description devices that AMC Theatres makes available for viewers who are blind or otherwise visually impaired. These devices allow visually disabled persons to listen to a specially-prepared audio narrative that describes the events on the movie screen.
According to the plaintiffs, both the devices themselves and the service AMC Theatres provided with them failed to meet minimum legal standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers dismissed the AMC disability class action lawsuit last Thursday, on a motion for dismissal agreed upon by all parties.
Under terms of the AMC Theatres disability class action settlement, AMC Theatres will go through a two-year period of implementing new policies and procedures designed to improve its provision of audio description devices. The company will train theater employees on how to set up and use the devices and will create a guidance document for employees’ future reference.
AMC Theatres will also establish procedures to ensure its audio description devices continue to work properly. Theater staff will be required to test the equipment on a weekly basis. AMC Theatres will keep a record of any complaints received about the devices, and a disability access coordinator will be required to review and resolve any such complaints.
These accessibility measures will also extend to the trailers and announcements presented before the film starts, giving patrons a chance to ensure their equipment works before the feature begins.
AMC Theatres also agrees to make information about its accessibility services more available. The company will provide updates via its website and mobile app to inform patrons when audio description devices are unavailable at certain locations.
This AMC Theatres disability class action lawsuit was filed in February of last year by five individual plaintiffs, the California Council of the Blind, and the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Named plaintiff Scott Blanks reported that for years, he had experienced poor provision of audio description devices at AMC Theatres. On at least one occasion, he said the audio description device he was given worked only for a few minutes before it started cutting in and out, then finally failed completely.
Theater staff often gave Scott the wrong equipment, he said, offering him a device designed for persons with hearing impairments. Getting the correct device sometimes required several minutes of waiting for a theater manager to respond to Scott’s request, which occasionally made him miss the beginning of the movie, he alleged.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Sidney M. Wolinsky, Rebecca Williford and Julia Marks of Disability Rights Advocates, and by Ernest Galvan and Michael S. Nunez of Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP.
The AMC Theatres ADA Class Action Lawsuit is Scott Blanks, et al. v. AMC Entertainment Inc., et al., Case No. 4:16-cv-00765, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Published as reported by TopClassAction.com | Article by Paul Tassin | May 1, 2017
For more from TopClassActions.com, visit: https://topclassactions.com/

To read the proposed settlement (pdf)>> CLICK HERE 

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