Hawaii to become 1st state in nation to accommodate hearing, vis - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii to become 1st state in nation to accommodate hearing, visually impaired at movie theaters

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii will become the first state in the nation to accommodate the hearing and visually impaired at movie theaters after a bill was signed into law on Wednesday.

The law, set to take effect Jan. 1, officially begins with a screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Ward Theaters on Saturday -- the first movie showing with open captioning and an audio description.

HB 1272 -- introduced by Rep. James Tokioka – requires operators of movie theaters in more than two locations in the state provide open captioning for at least two showings per week of each movie that’s produced with open moving captioning. The bill also requires them to provide an audio description of movies produced and offered with audio descriptions.

The law sunsets on Jan. 1, 2018.

The bill was intended to bring equal access to movie theaters for hearing and visually impaired individuals. It would also help those who are learning English as a second language.

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