Blind Americans frustrated over cinema customer service failure

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 12:47pm

Most cinemas in America (and Australia) provide audio description technology and screen audio described movies for blind and vision impaired people, however installing equipment does not ensure a good accessible experience.

People eating popcorn in a movie theatre

In a Californian class action filed this week against US-based cinema chain AMC, the complaints are about audio description equipment that does not work properly. The main complainant, Scott Blanks, who is blind, said that he has experienced equipment failing for a number of years and that consistent complaints to the cinemas in San Francisco had not fixed the problems.

Media Access Australia CEO, Alex Varley, agrees that access often fails due to customer service issues.

“Organisations make the assumption that by installing access equipment that is all that they have to do. It is like any service they provide, it has customer service needs, maintenance and training issues that have to be properly addressed. The American experience is not unique as we hear about similar problems in Australian cinemas.”

For more information on the class action, see this ABC news report.

For more information on the Australian situation, see our Access to cinema section.

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